Hungary is now reporting that nearly 200,000 migrants have crossed illegally into its territory for the year to date, with the latest figures illustrating just how dire the latest migrant crisis has become for Europe.
“In 2022, the number of people intending to cross the Hungarian border without a permit will continue to increase,” reads the Facebook page of the Government of Hungary. “We defend against these attempts because Hungary’s border cannot continue to be a gateway,” it adds.
The government’s page posted an infographic detailing how many people have entered Hungarian territory illegally and were apprehended.
Although the infographic listed 194,000 apprehensions, the Hungarian federal police announced that 4,845 illegal immigrants had been arrested in the last week, including 1,700 over the weekend, according to Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet, indicating that the pace of crossings is not slowing and on track to surpass 200,000 within the coming days.
The Hungarian government has been raising the alarm over the last few months, and a recent conference in Budapest last week featuring Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučič focused on the issue of migration. Austria’s leader slammed the EU’s lack of border security and failure to deport illegal migrants which has contributed to a massive influx of people from countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
“Austria is currently heavily burdened by illegal migration,” said Austrian Chancellor Nehammer before the conference. “The contribution that we are making in Europe is disproportionately high. The EU’s migration policy has failed. There is still no strong protection of the European Union’s external borders, and the reality of the problem is being ignored,” he added.
Austria has been hit especially hard this year. Officials there say that 56,000 illegal migrants have already applied for asylum, and the country’s figures of illegal border-crossings is set to break records previously set during the height of the 2015 and 2016 migrant crisis.
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Austria prepares for a record number of illegal immigrants this year, breaking the previous record set during the 2016 migrant crisis
Many of the migrants attempting to enter Hungary are looking to move on to Germany. As Remix News has previously reported, 12 out of 16 of Germany’s federal states have announced that they will reject any new refugees due to a lack of housing and overcrowded schools and kindergartens.
“The border situation is more complicated and dangerous than ever before, guaranteeing security requires an extraordinary government and social effort,” said György Bakondi, the prime minister’s chief adviser on internal security, on Saturday. According to Bakondi, the Hungarian position advocated since 2015 was well-founded, according to which illegal migration poses a serious threat to public safety and public health, and makes the social care system impossible.
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“All this at a time when the situation is already difficult throughout Europe,” he said, referring to the war in Ukraine and the situation caused by the EU sanctions.
Growing anger over the economic situation in Europe may dampen the mood for accepting more immigrants, especially when housing and food inflation is severely impacting households. For example, the Netherlands, which is currently experiencing 17.1 percent inflation, is housing hundreds of migrants on a luxury cruise ship, where they will receive free food, heating, and cabins during a time when many Dutch people are unsure if they will be able to afford next month’s rent and heating.