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Foreigners Act to be discussed in Senate

The Senate’s Local Government and State Administration Committee and Rule of Law and Petitions Committee invited lawyers of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and the Association for Legal Intervention to a session devoted to discussing the Foreigners Act draft. At the current stage of legislative works the organisations will also present their amendments to the government-sponsored bill.

The works on the new Foreigners Act have already been finished in the Lower House (the Sejm) committee and subcommittees. On 8 November 2013 the Sejm adopted the Foreigners Act.

“The key proposal we would like to present in the Senate is the introduction of a permanent mechanism for the legalisation of irregular migrants stay in Poland. The mechanism should be available for those foreigners who have been living in Poland for many years and have integrated with the Polish society”, says Jacek Bia_as, a lawyer working with the Helsinki Foundation.

Lawyers from the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and the Association for Legal Intervention have been actively participating in the legislative works on the act. A number of detailed proposals submitted by the organisations have been taken into account in the course of the works. However, the new law does not change the general model of Polish migration policy and not all key changes proposed by the HFHR and ALI have been approved by subcommittees, an example being the complete ban on detention of foreign children.

The new Foreigners Act is to become law on 1 May 2014.


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