When the refugee crisis of 2015 erupted with millions of migrants from all over the Middle East and Africa setting their eyes on the perilous journey to Europe, some countries were quick to adopt the German Willkommenskultur and open their doors to the masses without procedures to vet or identify them, and some–such as Hungary–did not. Instead, Hungary proved to the world that taking control of such big migratory waves is in fact possible. All it takes is a bit of willpower and the consistent ignoring of the prophets of Western multiculturalism. With enormous public support behind it, the government of Hungary completed a fence stretching 180 kilometres along the Serbian border in the same year, with a-clock patrol units made up of police and military personnel. The fence practically stopped illegal immigration into Hungary, and made several other countries in Europe follow suit. The Hungarian fence has become a model of effective border protection, so much so that it was recently featured in a Tucker Carlson Original.
Now, seven years later, it seems that the border control system along the fence needs an upgrade, as human smugglers have started to adapt to the new situation and the pressure is steadily increasing. László Toroczkai, MP of the Mi Hazánk (Our Homeland) party, currently in opposition, has filmed a video to present the seriousness of the challenges border police now have to face. The video went viral on YouTube in no time. It showcases police officers and local civilians telling stories about hearing gun fights almost every night from the other side of the border, and that the current patrol units are simply unable to respond to every call.
Police officers and local civilians telling stories about hearing gun fights almost every night
As it turns out, thousands of migrants from the Middle East have “permanently” settled on the Serbian side, formed human smuggling gangs, and fight each other for ever-growing portions of the border to control – and all the movements that pass through them. The situation, one might say, resembles prohibition-era New York, but these mafias smuggle migrants instead of whiskey, and resort to less sophisticated tools to run their operation. Toroczkai’s report did not stop at simple testimonies: it contains plenty of publicly available footage recorded by the police that shows men with handguns and assault rifles, casually searching for weak points in the fence to cut a hole in, or looking for hostile gang members within their territory. If they do run into enemy gangs, police, or civilians, they rarely go further than firing quick rounds of warning shots, but every night has the potential for escalation. Obviously, these activities cause much concern for locals and border police alike, but the present structures are not sufficient to keep them under control.
Border control still sits relatively high on the Fidesz government’s list of priorities, that is why this new task force will come to life
After Toroczkai raised the issue in Parliament as well, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced on Monday that by September, the government will create a new body within the police force, to be set up exclusively for border control, with its entirely own, specialized personnel. As Orbán explained in his parliamentary remarks, ‘while there is a war going on just east of the country, our soldiers are on duty at the border instead of training, and the police will not hold out much longer either, since they have to serve far from their families…Not only are they short of money, but the workload is too heavy.’ To put simply, with the war in Ukraine still raging, Hungary has much more pressing geopolitical issues to deal with at the moment than to keep a considerable portion of its armed forces locked in this hybrid hide-and-seek along its borders, and the police would be too thin-stretched to carry on their border patrolling missions alone, especially when every illegal immigrant they interact with might carry an AK-47. Nevertheless, border control still sits relatively high on the Fidesz government’s list of priorities, that is why this new task force will come to life. Because war or not, Hungary will never cede its borders to lawlessness and organized crime. As long as the fence stands, there will always be someone to defend it.