The U.S. can learn a lesson from Hungary: Border fences work.
Hungary declared a state of emergency in mid-September and began sealing off its southern border with Serbia. The result: Roughly 10,000 Syrian migrants pouring into the country per day last month has turned into dozens.
Dr. Gyorgy Bakondi, chief adviser for homeland security to prime minister Viktor Orban, announced on Hungarian television this week that illegal immigration is now below “peace time” levels, Breitbart London reported Thursday. Its efforts along the Serbian border were aided by a razor-wire fence along part of Hungary’s border with Romania.
Europe is struggling to absorb waves of migrants from the Middle East and Northern Africa who are fleeing Syria’s civil war and the Islamic State group. Germany expects to receive 800,000 by the end of the year.
Bakondi said its policy success depends on what he calls “triple defense” – the fence, police, and troops to back them up.
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Hungary’s news served as a backdrop to former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott’s criticism of Europe while speaking Tuesday at the Second Annual Margaret Thatcher Gala dinner in London.
“All countries that say ‘anyone who gets here can stay here’ are now in peril, given the scale of the population movements that are starting to be seen. There are tens, perhaps hundreds, of millions of people living in poverty and danger who might readily seek to enter a Western country if the opportunity is there,” said Abbott, Breitbart London reported. “Who could blame them? Yet no country or continent can open its borders to all comers without fundamentally weakening itself. This is the risk countries of Europe now run through misguided altruism.”
Hungary’s decision to close its border has caused diplomatic angst with Serbia, which called the policy “unacceptable” in September.
“[Serbia] wants to be part of the solution, not collateral damage. There will have to be talks in the coming days with Brussels and other countries,” Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said Sept. 15 in Prague, CBS News reported.
Serbian officials fear what will happen when migrants trying to enter from Macedonia and Greece reach the bottleneck.
“This is not only a Hungarian and Serbian problem. This is a problem for the whole of Europe. Europe has to find a solution fast before the situation escalates even further,” Aleksandar Vulin, the Serbian social affairs minister in charge of migrants, told the Associated Press Sept. 15.