A new draft law tabled in Hungary’s parliament on May 29 is aimed at cracking down on individuals or groups who help migrants not entitled to protection to submit requests for asylum. The same would apply to those who help undocumented migrants gain residency to stay in the country.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban‘s government has also proposed amending the constitution to state that an “alien population” cannot be settled in Hungary, rejecting European Union quotas to distribute migrants around the bloc.
The new bill also says foreigners who sought to enter Hungary via a third country in which they were not directly exposed to persecution would not be entitled to asylum.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, the draft legislation has been condemned by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).
“UNHCR is seriously concerned that these proposals, if passed, would deprive people who are forced to flee their homes of critical aid and services, and further inflame tense public discourse and rising xenophobic attitudes,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement in Geneva.
The controversial bill is part of Orban’s campaign against EU migration policies and against George Soros, a Hungarian-born US financier known for funding liberal causes.
The text of the legislation, known as the “Stop Soros” bill and posted on parliament’s website, said: “Those who provide financial means… or conduct this organisational activity (for illegal immigration) on a regular basis will be punishable with up to one year in prison.”