Budapest, July 6 (MTI) – A total of 1,060 migrants have attempted to enter Hungary illegally since the country’s new border regulations entered into force on Tuesday, the prime minister’s chief domestic security advisor said.
György Bakondi told public news channel M1 on Wednesday that 870 migrants were caught in the act of trying to cross the border illegally by border police and 190 people had managed to breach the border fence.
Under Hungary’s new border rules, illegal entrants stopped within eight kilometres of the border are to be escorted back over the border and offered an opportunity to apply for asylum at a transit zone. Migrants who comply with authorities and apply for asylum will not be expelled from the country and their appeals will be processed without delay.
Bakondi said he expected the new laws to deter migrants from trying to enter illegally if they see that it successfully prevents most illegal border crossings. If illegal migrants see that they are caught “100 percent of the time” when trying to enter the country illegally, they may realise that it is no use trying to breach the fence, he said.
Bakondi said migrants tend to be cooperative with authorities when they are returned to the transit zone. He said there are currently 300-350 migrants waiting in transit zones for their asylum applications to be processed.
He added that Hungary has deployed additional police and soldiers to patrol the country’s borders, noting that there are now a total of 10,000 officers involved “in the fight against illegal migration”. Authorities are now also using thermal cameras and helicopters on the border to detect people smugglers, he said.