Migrant crisis: Hungary enacts tough new laws
15 September 2015
From the section Europe
Hungary has brought in tough new migrant laws which it says will “start a new era” in preventing the inflow of illegal immigrants.Police can now detain anyone who tries to breach a razor-wire fence built on the border with Serbia.Hungary has become a key point on the journey north for thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa.On Monday, EU ministers failed to agree unanimously on mandatory quotas to relocate 120,000 asylum seekers.Instead, at the meeting in Brussels, a majority agreed “in principle” and negotiations will now take place ahead of another meeting in October.
‘Green borders’The new Hungarian laws came into effect at midnight (22:00 GMT Monday).
Hungarian officials say that legal ways to come to the country “remain open”
Hungary has also deployed mounted police along its border with Serbia
From now on anyone who crosses the border illegally will face criminal charges, and 30 judges have been put on standby to try potential offenders.The laws also make it a criminal offence – punishable by prison or deportation – to damage the newly-built four-metre (13ft) fence along Hungary’s 175km (110 mile) border with Serbia.
At the scene: BBC’s Nick Thorpe in Roszke, HungaryAs darkness fell on Monday night, a locomotive and a single wagon unloaded coils of razor wire on the barrier across the railway, and those migrants who were unable to cross set out on the 12km walk to Kiralyhalom, the next border crossing point. The previous day, I drove the same section and counted 17 points at which the fence had been breached.If the fence does prove too difficult to cross, many people may loop round to cross through Hungary’s still almost unguarded borders with Romania (450km) or Croatia (350km).Afghan boy’s lonely start in Germany
Mounted police have been deployed along the border.Police also sealed a railway crossing point that had been used by tens of thousands of migrants to enter the EU.”We will start a new era,” government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said shortly after midnight. “We will stop the inflow of illegal migrants over our green borders.”But he added: “That also means that the official and legal ways to come to Hungary and therefore to the European Union remain open. That’s all we ask from all migrants …Read More