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Jul 08, 2016

Migrant Crisis: Government will not compromise Hungary's security

Increased border patrols, harsher security checks and more than 10,000 police and troops are protecting the Hungarian people

János Lázár has said that Hungary refuses to enter into any compromise that would hamper the country’s security.

Hungary will not allow anyone to cross its border unchecked, said Minister Lázár, chief of the Prime Minister's Office, insisting that the country must protect its right to decide who it wants to allow in.

Minister Lázár said it was unfair of European politicians and international organizations to call into question Hungary’s solidarity and criticize its laws.

“What could be a greater show of solidarity than Hungary protecting Europe’s borders—largely with its own funds—and stopping people who try to enter unchecked without documents?”

The comments come in light of Serbia's government accusing Hungary of enacting harsher border control policies and breaching international law by returning migrants across their shared frontier.

The U.N. refugee authority and rights groups have also criticized Hungary by saying they deny refugees an opportunity to ask for asylum.

The new rules allow Hungarian police to return across the border to Serbia and Croatia refugees and migrants detained within eight kilometers (five miles) of the border fences protected by razor wire.

It's an extension of what some have called Hungary's "uncompromising" policies emphasizing border control while also rejecting illegal immigration.

Hungary has increased the number of police and soldiers patrolling the borders to 10,000, a rise of about 50 percent. The government also added more equipment like thermal cameras and helicopters.

"Today, the protection of Hungary and of Europe is the government's task," said Minister Lázár. "For Hungary, security is the most important question. Stopping illegal immigration is a key issue."

Hungary says that those caught near the border and taken back can file asylum claims at a couple of transit zones set up on the border.

Hungary will hold a referendum on October 2 seeking political support for its opposition to any future plans by the European Union to relocate migrants among the members of the bloc.