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May 31, 2018 - Zoltán Kovács

A stronger, more rigorous Stop Soros bill is now in front of the Parliament: here’s a look at the details

On election day nearly two months ago, the voters of Hungary sent a clear message. They made it clear that they don’t want Hungary to become an immigrant country and that the country’s security comes first. To serve the will of the people and meet this obligation, the Orbán Government has put forth the Stop Soros legislative package. What’s in the new package? Let’s take a look at the details.

On Tuesday, the government submitted to Parliament a new, more rigorous Stop Soros legislative package in response to a call for measures to safeguard Hungary’s security and tighten regulations to counter illegal migration. The new Stop Soros legislative package puts forth a more rigorous response by declaring illegal immigration a grave threat to Hungary’s national security. Anyone involved in aiding or abetting illegal migration would be committing a criminal offense.

 The comprehensive package includes amendments to the Police Act, the Penal Code, the Act on Asylum, the Act on the State Border and the Act on Misdemeanours. If passed (hopefully by the end of the spring session of Parliament, June 20), the penal code will state that arranging asylum status for an illegal immigrant or enabling someone who has entered Hungary illegally to acquire residence rights will be seen as facilitating unlawful immigration, a crime punishable by a custodial sentence of 5-90 days.

Committing such offences on a regular basis, providing financial support for illegal immigration or assisting illegal immigration in exchange for money will constitute felonies, and as such will be punishable by prison sentences of up to one year. Examples of this include publishing or distributing information material with the aim of promoting illegal migration or organizing border monitoring along Hungary’s external border.

In addition, the Stop Soros package equips the courts with tools to keep people who would engage in the aforementioned activities away from the 8-kilometer area inside the Hungarian border. If perpetrators are foreign nationals, courts may also rule to expel them from the country if they commit offences such as human trafficking, illegal border crossing, damaging the border barrier, preventing construction works on the border barrier and facilitating illegal migration.

Ultimately, according to the proposed legal framework, Hungary will not accept asylum requests from people who are not subject to persecution and are not in grave danger.

These new rules – through an amendment to the Fundamental Law – underline two important points. They emphasize that the issue of migration falls exclusively within the authority of the national government, affirming our rightful national sovereignty on this issue. The Stop Soros package also attempts to close existing loopholes through which so-called civic organizations were aiding illegal migration and human trafficking under the name of humanitarian assistance.