The Polish government is planning a referendum to ask voters whether they are in favor of accepting “thousands of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa” under a European Union relocation plan, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Sunday.
More than a million Ukrainian refugees, who are mostly white and Christian, are in Poland, but officials have opposed Muslim refugees and those from different cultures.
Morawiecki announced the referendum question on social media, signaling that his party, Law and Justice, is looking to make migration a prominent issue ahead of the October parliamentary election, according to The Associated Press.
Focusing on migration helped the conservative Law and Justice party take power in 2015.
The Polish government hopes the referendum will be held alongside the parliamentary election on Oct. 15. The question, according to Morawiecki, will be: “Do you support the admission of thousands of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa under the forced relocation mechanism imposed by the European bureaucracy?”
Officials have also recently said that the referendum will include questions about privatizing state-owned enterprises and whether they support raising the retirement age, which was lowered under the Law and Justice Party to 60 for women and 65 for men.
The proposed referendum question about migrants comes eight years after Europe’s asylum system collapsed when more than one million migrants, mostly fleeing the Syrian Civil War, entered the European Union and overwhelmed reception facilities in Greece and Italy. The 27 members of the EU have argued ever since about which nations should take responsibility for the unauthorized migrants.