It is pretty much: 22 million HUF (EUR 70,000). The Hungarian police captured an average of 18 illegal migrants every day in 2018 from infants to oldsters. They confirmed that they spent almost 50 million EUR on tasks related to border protection; this is how the above number was calculated.

Significant burden on the state budget

According to, the anti-migration struggle of the Hungarian government is quite a burden on the country’s state budget. Based on the migration data of the Hungarian police published on its website, they spent 146 billion HUF (EUR 46 million) on tasks in connection with border protection, which is a quarter of their budget. Nepszava says that, of course, this sum was not only and exclusively spent on capturing migrants trying to cross the Hungarian border illegally. But since most of them try to get into the European Union through the Southern borders of Hungary from Serbia, most of the money was probably spent on stopping them from doing so.

Government-close media always emphasises that

Brussels gives no financial support

for Budapest in its struggle to protect the Southern borders of Schengen, but Népszava says that such statements are not true.

Of course, the sum might raise questions about what exactly did authorities spend this almost 50 million EUR on. According to the relevant statistics of the police,

6,432 people were caught or made to turn back

to where they came because of illegal border crossing. In the case of 1,691 people, authorities baulked them to set foot on Hungarian soil while the rest were caught already in Hungary, near the border fence and they were forced to leave the country right away. This number is, in fact, lower than of 2017.

Mostly Afghans and Iraqis

Furthermore, in the 46 million EUR, the sum intelligence services or the military spent on missions related to the migrant issue is not incorporated. 

Based on police’s data, the number of illegal migrants peaked at the beginning and the end of 2018: on average,

123 people came per week and 18 per day. 

Thus, authorities spent 22 million forints to prevent each of them entering the country or make them leave it.

According to the Immigration and Asylum Office, most of the asylum seekers in Hungary were Afghans and Iraqis followed by Syrians, Pakistanis and Iranians. Nepszava suggests that the rates regarding ethnicity are probably the same in the case of illegal migrants, as well.

Though the Hungarian government does not advertise such numbers, the fact is that 367 people received some form of international protection in Hungary. In 2017, deputy foreign secretary Kristóf Altusz acknowledged in an interview to the Times of Malta that Hungary gave refugee status for 1,300 people. 

Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó was asked how Hungary had taken in “secretly” 1,300 refugees while it regularly spoke out against Europe’s migrant quota scheme that would allocate 1,294 refugees to the country. He answered Hungary was fighting the mandatory quota scheme because it would relocate illegal migrants in the European Union and strip member states of their right to decide who they want to take in. He argued then that Hungary’s taking in refugees under the Geneva Convention was a separate matter.


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