One country has taken Trump’s anti-immigrant stance to the next level of hatred

Women and children among Syrian refugees striking at the platform of Budapest Keleti railway station. Refugee crisis. Budapest, Hungary, Central Europe, 4 September 2015.
Support us and go ad-free

Hungary is taking Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant stance to the next level of hatred. The country has launched a new crackdown on civil society groups and immigrants, with its parliament passing a series of rules criminalising groups and individuals that support refugees and undocumented migrants. And it passed overwhelmingly, with 160 in favour and only 18 against.

Criminalising humanitarianism

The legislative package was labelled ‘Stop Soros‘. George Soros is a Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist who is known for giving money to immigrant rights groups, among others. He has also become the subject of numerous far-right conspiracy theories.

This package passed – on World Refugee Day no less – despite immense opposition from the UN and the EU.

Amnesty International’s Europe director Gauri van Gulik said that:

criminalizing essential and legitimate human rights work is a brazen attack on people seeking safe haven from persecution and those who carry out admirable work to help them.

Amnesty also noted that:

Those who fall foul of the law can face up to 1 year in prison.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Nothing new in Hungary

Hungary’s position on people fleeing extreme poverty and violence has been iron-fisted since at least 2015. And in 2017, the Hungarian parliament voted to concentrate refugees into ‘detention camps‘.

The right-wing prime minister of Hungary, Victor Orban, won his third consecutive term in April 2018.

Orban: refugees are “poison”

In March 2018, Orban claimed that EU requirements for Hungary to house 10,000 refugees and migrants would “crush the country” financially.

He has also:

  • Blamed the George Soros “empire” for seeking to make Europe a “continent for migrants”, and said Soros would “attack everyone hindering those efforts”.
  • Warned that “some seek to flood Hungary with migrants so that the country changes the same way as many western European cities have”.
  • Called (in a 2015 opinion piece for a German paper) refugees and migrants a threat to Europe’s ‘Christian identity’ and ‘roots’.
  • Said in 2016 that migration was “a poison“.

Anti-humanitarian

According to Amnesty, despite losing a case at the European Court of Justice, Hungary:

continued to refuse to relocate any of its minimum quota of 1,294 asylum-seekers, or to participate in other regional solidarity mechanisms. By the end of the year, it had not resettled or relocated anyone.

Reuters reports that:

Hungarian statistics show 3,555 refugees living in Hungary, a country of 10 million, as of April. Only 342 people were registered as asylum seekers in the first four months of this year, mostly from the Middle East, and 279 were approved.

Nativist, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim policies and sentiment are on the rise not only in Europe, but across the world – with Donald Trump’s detention of immigrant children recently grabbing significant attention. This wave is by no means new. But Hungary is definitely at the more extreme end of this developing phenomenon.

Get Involved!

– Support grassroots action against fascism.

– Learn more about far-right and fascist activities in the UK.

– Read The Canary‘s extensive coverage of current far-right activity.

Featured image via Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed