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Hungary Mulls New Legislation to Outlaw Helping Illegal Migrants

© REUTERS / Laszlo Balogh / Migrants make their way after crossing the border at Zakany, Hungary October 16, 2015.
Migrants make their way after crossing the border at Zakany, Hungary October 16, 2015. - Sputnik International
The move is another step in the political agenda of the current government to pursue a tough stance on immigration.

Hungarian authorities are mulling new legislation that would criminalize helping illegal migrants seeking asylum.

If the draft is adopted, it could result in any activity — from providing asylum-seekers with information to offering them food or legal consultations — being viewed as a crime.

Commenting on the issue, Hungarian-American investor and billionaire George Soros said that each EU country should not be forced into accepting migrants. He also denied claims of his alleged support for illegal migration.

READ MORE: Hungarian PM Calls Refusal to Let Migrants in 'Sovereignty Matter'

"In Hungary, Victor Orban based his reelection campaign on falsely accusing me of planning to flood Europe, Hungary included, with Muslim refugees… I have always advocated that the allocation of refugees within Europe should be entirely voluntary," he stated during a speech at the European Council on Foreign Relations think tank.

The investor also noted that the current migration crisis is one of the most serious challenges for Europe and gave a few recommendations in this regard.

"The EU must protect its external borders but keep them open for lawful migrants. Member states in turn must not close their internal borders," Soros said.

Budapest, along with Prague and Warsaw, has repeatedly opposed the EU's stance on migration, in particular regarding the migrant quota system that was introduced in September 2015.

READ MORE: Orban Voices Determination to Build 'Christian Democracy' in Hungary

In April 2017, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, known for his tough stance toward migrants following the outbreak of the refugee crisis in Europe in 2015, won a third term, with his party securing a strong majority in the country's parliament and gaining some two-thirds of the seats.

The same month, Hungary completed the construction of a second fence on its border with Serbia, aimed at stopping any surge in the flow of migrants toward Europe. The first barbed wire fence on Hungary's southern border was built in late 2015 after some 400,000 migrants and refugees passed through the country.

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