Hungary's Parliament passed a series of laws on September 7 to control the flow of refugees into Hungary, giving police more authority and setting out strict punishments, including prison terms for illegal border crossing. The law also declares Serbia a “safe country,” in theory making it impossible for refugees who arrive from Serbia to get asylum in Hungary.
Committing a criminal offense (for example, crossing the border illegally) also will be a reason to refuse any asylum claims. Potential effects of these changes are currently unclear.
According to the new laws, those who enter the country illegally from September 15 will be held in pretrial detention and quickly expelled. Government representatives stated recently that they are preparing for mass riot scenes in the coming weeks, hoping for "relative tranquility by Christmas."
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán repeatedly said that a "new time" will come in the handling of the migrant crisis , though potential effects of the changes are currently unclear.
Watch our video from the southern border of Hungary to find out what happens on the ground for the tens of thousands fleeing their homeland for a better life.
Video by Noemi Hatala