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Mar 12, 2017 - Zoltán Kovács

The US State Department takes one more swipe at Hungary for migration policy

The US State Department recently published its annual human rights report, a relic of the Cold War era. With that familiar “we know better” approach, the chapter on Hungary takes aim at our government’s actions responding to the migration crisis and reflects the previous US administration’s lax policy toward illegal immigration, a policy position on the verge of extinction.

The area where the US report takes significant issue with Hungary concerns the subject of migration. Specifically, it takes issue with the Orbán Government’s measures that follow a security-first approach to managing the crisis, instead of the approach advocated by some that essentially supports illegal immigration. The report makes references to information from these one-sided advocates and George Soros-backed international organizations and draws on conclusions from the previous US administration.

“It is not a fundamental human right for masses to march through safe countries, to violate the relevant international and national laws and to choose where they wish to live,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Szijjártó said in his response to the report.

The way the State Department announced the publication of this year’s report was more than a little unusual. Contrary to typical practice, the secretary of State was not present at the announcement nor was any other senior, State Department official. The person introducing the report in a video conference did not reveal his name and gave a perfunctory statement. The whole thing had a “let’s just get this over with” feeling, leading many to conclude that the US is downplaying the importance of the report.

In any case, the differences between the previous and the current US administrations are noticeable. Last fall, Prime Minister Orbán said that the problem with the previous administration was that it “lived in a liberal-constructed world, which [they] wanted to force on the rest of the world.”

“We have had enough of the lecturing,” the prime minister said. “The fact that we cannot tell our opinion because we have to fear being stigmatized morally or politically. This is impossible. So we have to get rid of this oppression, this intellectual oppression,” he added, expressing a hope that the so-called dictatorship of political correctness is coming to an end.

If so, it’s dying a slow death. This year’s State Department human rights report is a reminder of those years of lecturing, but thankfully it seems that change is coming.