Hungary Knows How to Stop Illegal Immigration

 

The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, has been condemned as an autocrat-in-the making. Since taking power in 2010, he has begun to restrict freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Nevertheless, while he was here on an official visit with President Trump, our President praised him:

‘Viktor Orbán has done a tremendous job in so many different ways,’ Trump said before a private meeting with him in the Oval Office. ‘Probably, like me, a little bit controversial, but that’s okay … You’ve done a good job and you’ve kept your country safe.’

At least one reason that President Trump spoke so highly of Orban is due to his accomplishing one thing that Trump has been stymied in doing: completing a border wall:

Hungary’s 96-mile long, 14-foot tall double-line fence includes several layers of razor-wire capable of delivering electric shocks. The barrier features cameras, heat sensors and loudspeakers ready to tell migrants they’re about to break Hungarian law if they as much as touch the fence, the DC report said.

Nearly every police officer in Hungary is part of a rotation to monitor the border fence at all times. Temporary military bases house the police while they do their rotation.

Additionally, Hungary will train and pay more than 1,000 volunteers to deploy as ‘border hunters.’

Illegals who are caught are arrested and dropped off on the Serbian side of the fence. They don’t get a chance to apply for asylum unless they do so at a ‘transit zone’ where they are held in housing containers while their cases get processed, the report said.

Orban has also been aggressive about stopping illegal immigration into Hungary.

The Hungarian Parliament passed a new law called “STOP Soros” that will send people and groups to prison for helping migrants submit requests for asylum, and who illegally help people to gain legal status to stay in the country. Orban has accused George Soros of funding organizations in these efforts in a strategy to destabilize Europe; George Soros denies this claim.

I know that Hungary is a much smaller country with a smaller border to protect; it also has a significantly smaller population:

Hungarian statistics show 3,555 refugees living in Hungary, a country of 10 million, as of April.

Only 342 people were registered as asylum seekers in the first four months of this year, mostly from the Middle East, and 279 were approved.

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a rights group that often represents migrants, said on Wednesday the narrowing definition of who counts as a refugee essentially means nobody entering Hungary by land would be entitled to such treatment.

Viktor Orban has been defying the EU’s demanding for admitting migrants, particularly since the huge migrant inflow in 2015.

Hungary is a much different country than ours: its Parliament is in alignment with Orban. They have supported him in restrictions on speech, assembly, the judiciary and migration. I wouldn’t want our country in any way to resemble the governance of Hungary, nor do I think we’d be able to pass some of the laws restricting people from giving advice on seeking asylum.

But I wonder if there are some things we can learn from the Hungarians about protecting the borders and ensuring the security of this country?

Published in Immigration
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There are 20 comments.

  1. Keith Rice Member

    When you view mass border crossings as an invasion then it’s clearly a war you’re fighting.

    • #1
    • July 15, 2019, at 9:55 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    . . . whether you are in the U.S. or Hungary. I agree. Now we just have to get Congress to act . . . oh, wait . . .

    • #2
    • July 15, 2019, at 9:59 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: But I wonder if there are some things we can learn from the Hungarians about protecting the borders and ensuring the security of this country?

    What I learned is we should hire the Hungarians to build our border fences!

    • #3
    • July 15, 2019, at 10:44 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. Full Size Tabby Member

    A problem is that too many politicians and public speakers would look at the photo shown and scream, “Berlin Wall!” because they are no longer willing or able to distinguish whether a wall is intended to keep people out or in.

    They won’t see that the wall around Disneyland serves a different purpose than the wall around San Quentin prison. Similarly they won’t see that a wall to stop uninvited people from entering Hungary (or the United States) is fundamentally different from the Berlin Wall intended to stop people from leaving East Germany. 

    • #4
    • July 15, 2019, at 11:25 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  5. Aaron Miller Member

    I see nothing wrong with the electrocuted barbed-wire fence or the border volunteers. Once the message is sent that illegal border crossing will no longer be tolerated, there is no risk to innocents. Safety can be assured at designated entry areas.

    Any other crossing will be treated like a home invasion… because it is.

    • #5
    • July 15, 2019, at 11:46 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. DonG Coolidge

    I like the way the fence is inside the border to create a neutral zone to put migrants, where they can be ignored.

    • #6
    • July 15, 2019, at 11:50 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    A problem is that too many politicians and public speakers would look at the photo shown and scream, “Berlin Wall!” because they are no longer willing or able to distinguish whether a wall is intended to keep people out or in.

    They won’t see that the wall around Disneyland serves a different purpose than the wall around San Quentin prison. Similarly they won’t see that a wall to stop uninvited people from entering Hungary (or the United States) is fundamentally different from the Berlin Wall intended to stop people from leaving East Germany.

    Excellent observations, @fullsizetabby! Although sometimes I think the opposition doesn’t think it needs an excuse. They just want to fight Trump and welcome in everyone to become future voters.

    • #7
    • July 15, 2019, at 12:30 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. Brian Wolf Coolidge

    Susan Quinn:

    Hungary is a much different country than ours: its Parliament is in alignment with Orban. They have supported him in restrictions on speech, assembly, the judiciary and migration. I wouldn’t want our country in any way to resemble the governance of Hungary, nor do I think we’d be able to pass some of the laws restricting people from giving advice on seeking asylum.

    But I wonder if there are some things we can learn from the Hungarians about protecting the borders and ensuring the security of this country?

     

    The problem is one of scale. If Hungry had much bigger business interests that needed workers, and bigger economy faced with a mass migration of people no passive border defense would work, you would have to get bloody.

    This works for Hungry because they are not very attractive to immigrant flows, most I suspect would use Hungry as a spring board to go somewhere else. So there is not a lot of motivation to move pass the modest defenses that Hungry had to erect. 

    Not being very attractive and having better border defense then your neighbors is all the defense that Hungry needs.

    America is very attractive and we need massive border defense. There is not much to take in the form of a lesson from Hungry.

    Securing our border is a minor part of solving the immigration crisis. We are capable of securing the border in a matter of days but the price we would pay for having an airtight border is a price no rational American would want to pay.

    We have to start looking at our immigration problem as a mass movement of people that we need to solve in a comprehensive way. Improving our immigration system. Going after cartels in Mexico more effectively, and building up law and order in Central America. Doing these things all at once with sufficient funding is what will make the immigration pass. 

    A secure border by itself will never suffice because the incentives for crossing that border are too great.

    • #8
    • July 15, 2019, at 1:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Aaron Miller Member

    Brian Wolf (View Comment):
    We have to start looking at our immigration problem as a mass movement of people that we need to solve in a comprehensive way. Improving our immigration system. Going after cartels in Mexico more effectively, and building up law and order in Central America. Doing these things all at once with sufficient funding is what will make the immigration pass.

    The cartels are not our problem to solve. They are not different in kind from abusive governments. We would effectively have to declare war on Mexico and other countries to make a dent. 

    Gangsters who invade the US are our problem. Anyone who crosses our border with weapons should be shot, not arrested. So long as we only arrest and deport invaders, they are willing to risk being caught. 

    • #9
    • July 15, 2019, at 1:32 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Brian Wolf Coolidge

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    The cartels are not our problem to solve. They are not different in kind from abusive governments. We would effectively have to declare war on Mexico and other countries to make a dent. 

    Gangsters who invade the US are our problem. Anyone who crosses our border with weapons should be shot, not arrested. So long as we only arrest and deport invaders, they are willing to risk being caught. 

    Practically no one comes across the border with weapons. We are likely to shoot and not arrest armed men across our border as it is. 

    We did not have to declare war on Colombia to go after the cartels there. We could be more aggressive without going to war with Mexico. We have been more aggressive in the past and we could take such a posture again. 

    The cartels as they are people and drug smugglers and control the Mexican side of the border are our problem if we want to stop the mass migration. They are direct threat to us and we should go after them. Trying to secure are massively long border while they can sit back and plot and scheme in peace in Mexico means we will always be on the back foot against them.

    • #10
    • July 15, 2019, at 1:51 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    I look at my country like this; mine. I might give you some of my stuff, or let you live with me. We can talk about it. But if you take my stuff, if you invade my house, you are the de facto bad guy and you’re going down. 

    Lots of people want or even need other people’s stuff or land. That doesn’t mean they get to take it. 

    • #11
    • July 15, 2019, at 2:10 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Aaron Miller Member

    Brian Wolf (View Comment):
    We did not have to declare war on Colombia to go after the cartels there.

    When Colombia’s president went to war with the cartels there, was that a consequence of US involvement? Or did we join his fight? 

    What is the situation there now? Perhaps our media stopped covering Colombia because they hated to see a Republican’s strategy work. But I assumed the cartels would retain a strong foothold there. Afterall, their budgets rival those of governments. 

    Brian Wolf (View Comment):
    Trying to secure are massively long border while they can sit back and plot and scheme in peace in Mexico means we will always be on the back foot against them.

    Isn’t going after them on their own turf roughly how we acquired Florida? I don’t want Mexico.

    • #12
    • July 15, 2019, at 2:55 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Brian Wolf Coolidge

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    When Colombia’s president went to war with the cartels there, was that a consequence of US involvement? Or did we join his fight? 

    We were there when the Columbian President wanted to get Escobar, we were there after Columbia became a Narco State and the government tried to mainstream the cartels and we helped mess that up and now in Columbia the cartels withered and FARC picked up where they left off and we went to war with FARC. FARC is not gone but it is much, much weaker.

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Isn’t going after them on their own turf roughly how we acquired Florida? I don’t want Mexico.

    Florida worked out pretty well don’t you think?

    When Cartels in Mexico killed DEA agents we went to war with them and slew large numbers of them without taking Mexico over. I think we could do it again.

    • #13
    • July 15, 2019, at 3:31 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Rodin Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: But I wonder if there are some things we can learn from the Hungarians about protecting the borders and ensuring the security of this country?

    What I learned is we should hire the Hungarians to build our border fences!

    Maybe reprogram money in the foreign aid account and send to Hungary and they “volunteer” to build the wall. Trump uses existing gift acceptance authority, and bingo!

     

    • #14
    • July 15, 2019, at 3:38 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. The Reticulator Member

    Brian Wolf (View Comment):

    The problem is one of scale. If Hungry had much bigger business interests that needed workers, and bigger economy faced with a mass migration of people no passive border defense would work, you would have to get bloody.

    This works for Hungry because they are not very attractive to immigrant flows, most I suspect would use Hungry as a spring board to go somewhere else. So there is not a lot of motivation to move pass the modest defenses that Hungry had to erect. 

    Not being very attractive and having better border defense then your neighbors is all the defense that Hungry needs.

    America is very attractive and we need massive border defense. There is not much to take in the form of a lesson from Hungry.

    Securing our border is a minor part of solving the immigration crisis. We are capable of securing the border in a matter of days but the price we would pay for having an airtight border is a price no rational American would want to pay.

    We have to start looking at our immigration problem as a mass movement of people that we need to solve in a comprehensive way. Improving our immigration system. Going after cartels in Mexico more effectively, and building up law and order in Central America. Doing these things all at once with sufficient funding is what will make the immigration pass. 

    A secure border by itself will never suffice because the incentives for crossing that border are too great.

    There are several good points here, but I’m reflexively opposed to comprehensive solutions to anything, so would have to get over that before getting on board.

    • #15
    • July 15, 2019, at 6:20 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Obviously (as I said in the OP) I see all the differences in our countries. But I was kind of hoping that there would be something we could glean from Hungary: its approach to building the wall, the ways in which they got people on board, promoting the reduced numbers–something that would help Trump break through the Leftist resistance. But maybe not.

    • #16
    • July 15, 2019, at 6:31 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Brian Wolf Coolidge

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Brian Wolf (View Comment):

    The problem is one of scale. If Hungry had much bigger business interests that needed workers, and bigger economy faced with a mass migration of people no passive border defense would work, you would have to get bloody.

    This works for Hungry because they are not very attractive to immigrant flows, most I suspect would use Hungry as a spring board to go somewhere else. So there is not a lot of motivation to move pass the modest defenses that Hungry had to erect.

    Not being very attractive and having better border defense then your neighbors is all the defense that Hungry needs.

    America is very attractive and we need massive border defense. There is not much to take in the form of a lesson from Hungry.

    Securing our border is a minor part of solving the immigration crisis. We are capable of securing the border in a matter of days but the price we would pay for having an airtight border is a price no rational American would want to pay.

    We have to start looking at our immigration problem as a mass movement of people that we need to solve in a comprehensive way. Improving our immigration system. Going after cartels in Mexico more effectively, and building up law and order in Central America. Doing these things all at once with sufficient funding is what will make the immigration pass.

    A secure border by itself will never suffice because the incentives for crossing that border are too great.

    There are several good points here, but I’m reflexively opposed to comprehensive solutions to anything, so would have to get over that before getting on board.

    Comprehensive immigration reform is often bad. I admit but solving problem comprehensively is good.

    • #17
    • July 15, 2019, at 7:05 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Zafar Member

    Susan Quinn:

    I wouldn’t want our country in any way to resemble the governance of Hungary, nor do I think we’d be able to pass some of the laws restricting people from giving advice on seeking asylum.

    But I wonder if there are some things we can learn from the Hungarians about protecting the borders and ensuring the security of this country?

    I fear it’s a package deal.

    • #18
    • July 16, 2019, at 4:05 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Front Seat Cat Member

    What’s going on with the top of the page of your post? Does anyone see something odd? Also Ricochet site took a time out twice in the last few days when I pulled it up – it said the “origin” – location – of issue was Miami?

    • #19
    • July 16, 2019, at 7:34 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):What’s going on with the top of the page of your post? Does anyone see something odd? Also Ricochet site took a time out twice in the last few days when I pulled it up – it said the “origin” – location – of issue was Miami?

    Max posted that there have been problems with the server that are manifesting in bizarre (IMHO) ways. I hope it gets fixed soon–at least my post is fixed!

    • #20
    • July 16, 2019, at 9:03 AM PDT
    • 1 like