Hungarian parliament passes ‘Stop Soros’ bills
Parliament on Wednesday passed the “Stop Soros” package of laws that penalise activities in support of illegal migration.
The bills contain amendments to the penal code that sanction entities or organisations that “facilitate illegal migration” or help with the asylum application procedures of migrants arriving from safe countries.
The bills define the promotion of illegal migration as an organised activity which helping a person not in danger of persecution to submit an asylum request or to obtain a title of residence.
Financially supporting illegal migration, gaining from it financially or undertaking such activities within 8km of the border are punishable with one year’s prison sentence.
Under the new law, surveillance of the border, gathering or distributing information, and setting up or running a network will also qualify as organisation of migration.
Parliament has also changed the refugee law, under which asylum applications submitted by persons arriving from safe countries shall be rejected.
According to the proponent of the package, the new laws are in line with the Geneva Convention, which ensures protection to those only that arrive directly from lands where their life or freedom were in danger.
Under the proposal, parliament has changed the law on Hungary’s borders, stipulating that anyone being prosecuted under charges of crimes in connection with border protection shall be banned from within 8km of the border, except for people who have been residents in that zone for at least 5 years.
The new laws will take effect on the first day of the month following its publication.
The bills, submitted by the interior minister and requiring a two-thirds majority to pass, was approved with 160 votes in favour and 18 against.
Parts of the package requiring a two-thirds majority were supported by deputies of the ruling parties, Jobbik, independent Dóra Dúró, and Imre Ritter, representative of the German minority,
while the Socialist and Párbeszéd group, independent Anett Bősz, and Ákos Hadházy, who has just announced his quitting the LMP party, voted against. All other representatives stayed away from the vote.
On Tuesday, the government submitted a bill seeking to introduce a 25 percent special tax on organisations that support migration with a view to contributing to government spending on the handling of migration. Revenue from the tax will be spent exclusively on border protection measures, according to the bill. Read more HERE.