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Hungary to take asylum seekers into custody

January 16th, 2017

A conservative pundit welcomes the government’s plan to take asylum seekers into custody while their applications are processed. Her left-wing counterpart thinks that there is no real terrorist danger that would necessitate such strict regulations.

In his regular weekly press conference on ThursdayJános Lázár, the Minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office said that the government wants to lock up asylum seekersMinister Lázár said that the measure was necessitated by security considerations. He added that the government wants to make sure migrants who apply for refugee status do not leave the country before their applications are processed. In his bi-weekly radio interview on Friday, PM Orbán deemed it likely that the European Union would challenge the Hungarian government’s plan to curtail the free movement of asylum seekers.

Magyar Hírlap’s Mariann Őry finds it reasonable to lock up asylum seekers. The pro-government columnist writes that without what she calls the ‘proper screening’ of migrants at the Schengen borders, the security of Hungary and the EU cannot be secured. Without tight security measures at the borders, terrorists, including radicalized EU citizens holding fake documents who  try to enter as refugees from the Middle East can easily move freely within the EU. 

In NépszavaGyörgy Sebes interprets the proposal to take asylum seekers into custody as another chapter in PM Orbán’s war against Brussels. The left-wing commentator thinks that the proposal has more symbolic importance than practical substance. In Sebes’s interpretation, there is no real and imminent terrorist threat, but PM Orbán wants to underline again that he is a tough and relentless champion of Hungarian national sovereignty. 

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