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Dec 02, 2019 - Zoltán Kovács

Illegal migration: Will 2020 see a repeat of 2015?

With the current situation on Hungary’s southern border showing a striking increase in attempts to cross the border illegally, State Secretary Szilárd Németh convened the ruling party’s anti-migration cabinet to devise further steps to avoid what happened in 2015.

If we look at the numbers and compare this year’s illegal border-crossing attempts to the figures from last year, we’ll find that illegal migration activity along Hungary’s southern border fence has, in fact, drastically intensified.

According to Ministry of Defence State Secretary Szilárd Németh, who is also the chairman of the ruling Fidesz party’s anti-migration cabinet, border control units prevented 6,506 illegal border-crossing attempts in 2018. Yet, by the end of November of this year, this figure already stood at more than 12,500. That’s 17 per day in 2018 versus 37 per day in 2019.

Citing recent examples, Németh said that illegal activity has dramatically increased over the last couple of months. Yesterday alone, he added, border police captured 82 illegals. The migrants’ methods vary. They attempt to enter Hungary on foot, underground (as recent reports show), on water, via trucks and train wagons, or by cutting and jumping through border barriers.

“The Helsinki Committee is working hard to provide legal assistance to these people,” Szilárd Németh said, mentioning that the recent European Court of Human Rights ruling approved the conditions in transit zones along Hungary’s border.

There are 3.6 million registered migrants in Turkey, the ruling party VP stated, plus another 1-3 million who have not yet been registered. In 2019, Turkey’s southern and eastern borders have repelled some 450 thousand attempts, a number 60 percent higher than last year.

“Hungary is one of the safest countries because of its strict border control. This should be maintained together with the state of emergency triggered by mass immigration,” Németh concluded.