Migration aficionados and liberal expert groups are driving a new storyline that compares Ukrainian refugees fleeing war
in our neighborhood to the violent, rock-throwing mob of illegal migrants routinely besieging our southern borders.
While in most cases the term “discrimination” means treating similar or identical phenomena differently, there is, in
fact, a second layer to its definition, one that’s often overlooked. It’s the handling of things that are significantly
different in a similar manner.
Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor commits the same mistake when, in an article
entitled “Hungary’s Pushbacks Of Non-Ukrainian Asylum Seekers Akin To Migratory Apartheid,” it calls upon the Hungarian
government to take in migrants arriving on our southern border the same way we have welcomed now 700,000 refugees
fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Since 2015, the beginning of the migration crisis, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his governments have pursued a
migration policy that respects all international regulations and standards, as everyone whose asylum claim is positively
ruled upon by Hungarian authorities can obtain refugee status in Hungary. The process is simple: Asylum claims can be
submitted through Hungarian embassies in neighboring countries. If the asylum is granted, refugees may enter Hungary.
There is, however, one important detail when deciding on asylum. According to most internationally endorsed legal
sources, asylum seekers are supposed to request asylum in the first safe country they reach. Hungary fully adheres to
this principle. So, for example, when a national of Bangladesh appears on the landlocked border of Hungary, a degree of
reasonable suspicion arises.
Any reasonable person would agree that the situation of a large group of predominantly Afghan and Syrian young men
arriving from the distant Middle East on the Hungary-Serbia border is significantly different from women and children
escaping danger in neighboring Ukraine. For them, Hungary is the first safe country they reach, and it is our moral duty
to treat them accordingly.
Hungary’s migration and refugee policy is therefore not “akin to migratory apartheid.” It’s a system that fully respects
international migration rules and, most importantly, is rooted in common sense.Zoltán Kovács, PhD
Hungarian Secretary of State for International Communication, International Spokesman