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New laws to curb immigration

September 8th, 2015

Pundits across the political spectrum wonder how the migrant situation will develop as the flow of migrants shows no signs of abating.

Last Friday, the Hungarian Parliament amended a series of laws and introduced the concept of “state of crisis” caused by mass migration. According to the new regulations, damaging the fence on Hungary’s border becomes a criminal act. Migrants who cross the border illegally will not be eligible for refugee status. Along the borders, migrant transit zones will be set up so that Hungarian migration authorities can decide on asylum applications on the spot. Rejected applicants will not be allowed to enter Hungary. Under another bill to be passed on September 22nd, in case of acute migrant crisis, the army can be deployed as an auxiliary police force to protect the border and will be equipped with rubber bullets. Police will have the right to search homes for undocumented migrants. The bills were passed with votes by Fidesz and Jobbik MPs, while the left-wing opposition parties voted against them. The new laws will be in effect from September 15th.

Criminalizing illegal border crossing will not stop the flow of migrants, Károly Lencsés writes in Népszabadság. The left-wing columnist thinks that neither the threat of imprisonment, nor the transit zones on the border will deter masses of undocumented migrants heading towards Western Europe from entering Hungary. If PM Orbán rejects the proposed EU quota system (see BudaPost September 5), refugees who get into the country will be here to stay, Lencsés predicts.

Writing in the same daily, Péter Cseri fears that those undocumented migrants whose asylum applications are rejected will revolt and grow violent. Cseri finds it unlikely that these people will simply turn back to Syria or other crisis torn countries. It is much more likely that they will try to break out of the transit zones and compel Hungarian authorities to use force, Cseri fears.

Undocumented migrants demand rights for themselves but do not respect other people’s rights, Anikó Fázsy writes in Magyar Idők. Commenting on Germany’s and Austria’s decision to open the borders, Fázsy  contends that European governments have bowed to the pressure of undocumented migrants. Such people from the Middle East will import terror and chaos to Europe, she predicts.

Magyar Hírlap’s Gyula Máté T. thinks that Germany’s and Austria’s pro-migrant attitude is only ephemeral. The conservative columnist quotes the chancellors of both Germany and Austria as saying that their countries would not admit all asylum seekers and also that they would act according to the Dublin Agreement. Máté suggests that therefore at the end of the day, unwanted migrants in Germany will have to be taken care of by Hungary.

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