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Dispute over immigration

February 17th, 2015

A liberal pundit accuses the government of fomenting anti-immigrant feelings by criminalizing asylum-seekers. A conservative columnist, on the other hand, calls for help for refugees but also stricter laws against illegal migration.

In January, PM Orbán said that the government will try to curb what it called economic migration to Hungary (see BudaPost January 14 and, January 20). Later on, commenting on the 20-fold increase in asylum applications (see BudaPost January 26) the Prime Minister and other government politicians suggested that procedures should be revised to enable rapid decisions and the swift expulsion of rejected applicants, otherwise Hungary may become a refugee-state. It was also suggested that illegal migrants should be kept in custody until the decision on their status is made.

In Heti Világgazdaság, Tamás Gomperz accuses PM Orbán of declaring war on migrants in order to divert attention from corruption scandals. In an angry comment on the immigration issue, the liberal commentator calls PM Orbán’s attitude ‘opportunistic populism’ and believes that the government is waging war against “imagined asylum-seekers”. “Rednecks posing as Christians”, who try to increase their popularity by attacking asylum seekers who are in desperate need, should be ashamed of themselves, he storms.

Mass illegal migration is the civilizational drama of our age that, unfortunately, can only be handled through drastic measures, Zsombor György comments in Magyar Nemzet. The conservative columnist accuses western European governments of complacency for criticizing the Hungarian government’s planned policies while at the same time introducing even harsher measures to stop illegal migration. Among others, Austria has announced that it will accept no asylum applications from Kosovo migrants. György remarks that Christian charity and solidarity requires that we provide humanitarian aid and shelter to those whose lives are in danger, but we have to say no to those who come illegally to Hungary in search of better economic prospects.

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