No, Mr. Knaus, PM Orbán did not let illegal immigrants into Europe
On the contrary, Hungary was, in fact, one of the few EU member states that stood up against illegal migration.
In an interview published Wednesday evening in Hungary’s left-leaning weekly HVG, Gerald Knaus, president of the liberal and pro-immigration, Berlin-based European Stability Initiative (ESI) – a Soros-funded organization – makes some jaw-dropping claims.
Following a brief personal bio and heart-breaking family history, Gerald Knaus gets right to the point. “The external border of the Schengen Area that needed to be protected,” he says, demonstrating a clear understanding of the 2015 migration crisis, “was the Hungarian-Serb border.” Thank you for that insight.
And then Knaus goes on to argue that “if there was someone who permitted illegal border crossing into Europe, it was Orbán. It’s a masterpiece of political manipulation, how he turned this around via communication.” Wait, what?
The fact of the matter is, the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who crossed Hungary’s southern border illegally in 2015 – PM Orbán rightfully called it an invasion at the time – should have never been there in the first place and wouldn’t have been had migrants obeyed the rules and requested asylum in the first state they had reached. More pointedly, we must not forget about the countries along the Western Balkans migration route who failed to fulfill their responsibilities to protect borders, prevent illegal transit and enforce the rules of requesting asylum. One such country is a Schengen member. On the external border.
Regardless of the circumstances that made our situation more challenging, the Hungarian Government remained one of the few EU member states that stood up against illegal migration: We aimed to stop illegal migrants at our Schengen border and prevent them from traveling further into Europe. PM Orbán’s government was also among the outspoken critics of policies, such as Angela Merkel’s Wilkommenskultur, that clearly created a pull effect, encouraging migrants to make their way to Europe illegally.
Seems more than a little revisionist to claim that PM Orbán was in any way “permitting illegal border crossing into Europe.”
This would not be the first time Gerald Knaus got it wrong about Prime Minister Orbán. In 2015, addressing “friends of ESI,” he wrote that “Viktor Orbán offers no credible or practical proposals how to deal with the causes of displacement; he also has no credible proposals on how to stop the loss of control on the EU's external borders.”
“Hungary's fence,” Knaus claimed, “is largely political symbolism: it has not halted the arrival of large numbers of refugees in the EU.”
Less biased observers will remember that Prime Minister Orbán was among the first European politicians to put forward a concrete plan to remedy the challenges of the migration crisis. His plan rested on three pillars: protecting the EU’s external Schengen border, ensuring that immigrants obey the rules and follow procedure, and promoting the concept of “taking help to where it’s needed, instead of bringing the trouble over here.”
While Western mainstream media criticized Hungary at first, we have witnessed a swift change of perspective and the adoption of policies similar to our own border protection measures all around Europe.
Yet Knaus claimed that Hungary’s border fence “has not halted the arrival of large numbers of refugees in the EU.” Today we know that the southern fence has stopped nearly 400,000 illegal immigrants in 2015 alone and effectively put an end to the inflow of illegals along Hungary’s southern border – an external border of Schengen. Hungary stepped up to meet its Schengen treaty obligations.
And let’s not forget the Soros plan to “solve the asylum chaos,” the one in which Soros himself lectures to Europe that it would have to take in “at least a million asylum-seekers annually”. It’s more than a little hypocritical to have Knaus doing this finger pointing when it has been Soros and the vast network of Soros-funded NGOs and think tanks like ESI that have been pushing a pro-migration agenda and encouraging migrant quotas.
But, of course, you are not going to be reminded of these facts by a “migration expert” representing a Soros-funded organization.