Migration pressure is increasing on the southern border as police discover two tunnels under the frontier
Hungary has seen 11,808 illegal border-crossing attempts this year alone, 2,418 this month and nine percent of this year’s total occurred this week alone. While the pressure is increasing and illegal migrants are employing new tactics, Hungarian authorities stand ready to keep the border secure, even against much higher numbers.
Comparing the latest figures on the number of illegal border-crossing attempts to previous years, 2019 brought a steep increase, 11,808 attempts. What’s more, one fifth of the total was committed in November while nine percent took place this week. One hundred illegal attempts were prevented on Friday alone.
In an interview on Kossuth Rádió this morning, György Bakondi, Prime Minister Orbán’s chief security advisor, said that although the strongest pressure falls on Hungary’s border with Serbia, “an increase in illegal activity has been registered on the Croatian, Romanian and Ukrainian borders as well.” While the number of registered migrants on the Balkans route reaches 106 thousand, Bakondi said, we can only estimate the extent of illegal arrivals.
But it’s not only the sheer number of illegal migrants that is upping the stakes at play on Hungary’s southern border – which is an external border of the EU’s Schengen Area – it’s also their more sophisticated tactics. Here’s a video released by the Hungarian police that shows some of the latest.
Jumping and cutting through the border fence, however, seems primitive compared to what border police discovered few days ago.
This week, Hungarian border authorities unearthed two, hand-dug tunnels that run below the Serbian section of the double border fence to Hungarian territory in the area around Ásotthalom and Csikéria villages. At the 34-meter long Ásotthalom tunnel, border police captured 44 illegal border-crossers, while the other passage appeared to have not yet been used.
Both tunnels were immediately destroyed because they were not only an illegal passage under the border but they were so poorly made that they were a serious safety hazard to anyone attempting to use them.
Commenting on this week’s revelations, the PM’s security advisor warned that “we are in the 24th hour to stop this suicidal policy, [we must] halt mass, illegal immigration and keep border protection under organized control”.