Hungary building second border fence to stop migrants

TMP – 10/03/2017

Hungary has begun erecting a second fence to prevent illegal migrants freely crossing the border from Serbia.

According to Associated Press, an experimental 10km stretch has already been built to reinforce and existing border fence authorities built in 2015. Part of the second fence is equipped with cameras, motion and heat sensors and other surveillance tools.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that his government views migration as one of the largest threats to the status quo in the EU, and the second fence is therefore needed because Hungary expects more migrants to reach its borders this year.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, after a meeting with his Romanian counterpart, also said: “Although the EU-Turkey agreement is prevailing and the Western Balkan route is closed, we expect the migration pressure to appear at any moment at our southern borders. For this reason, we are strengthening the defense of our southern border.”

Work on the second fence will continue as soon as weather conditions allow. The government will spend some 38 billion forints ($130.7 million) on erecting the new fence and setting up shipping containers in transit zones at the Serbian border. Migrants will be forced to wait there while their requests for protection are reviewed by Hungarian officials.

In an effort to deter migrants, the government has also introduced a new law that allows officials to return migrants to Serbia if they are caught within five miles of the border and has deployed thousands of guards to patrol the border.