First of all, In Hungary there are people with refugee and other refugee legal statuses who are Roma because they had a well-founded fear of being persecuted in their country of origin. The state of Hungary has recognized them as refugees because of the persecution and endangerment in their home countries.
Secondly, almost immediately after the Fidesz re-election in April 6th 2014, Prime Minister Orbán started a scapegoating and exclusion campaign against immigrants. Starting in May 2014 'We do not want any policies that back immigration, nor do we want migrating masses that cause tension that is impossible to contain...'
And again, in August 2014 'The goal is to cease immigration whatsoever' and the 'ethnic basis' of the magyar dominant nation state should be protected. (Text of Orbán’s speech)
Furthermore at this meeting with ambassadors, Orbán reiterated his opposition (watch video in Hungarian or read the speech in English) to immigration and stressed that it is the Roma in Europe who should be given the low-paid/unskilled jobs that immigrants usually do.
“The Hungarian employment situation for a long time is not about that there are jobs that the natives will not do .... even if the Hungarian state prevents migration it does not mean that Roma Hungarian will get jobs - if there were no migrants things would not be better for Roma Hungarians.
[B]oth groups receive almost nothing from society as it is because neither do not even play on the same track. The rhetoric that 'if there were no migrants the situation for the Roma would be better' is a false one but it is deceitful enough to be adopted and to have an effect.”
— Orbán hipokrízise, by Magyar Helsinki Bizottság / Hungarian Helsinki Committee
Speaking factually, the amount of refugees in Hungary is too small to make a large impact on the lives of Roma Hungarians and it is totally wrong to assume they are competing for the same jobs. More importantly this is a deliberate incitement by the government to divide two neglected and discriminated against groups in Hungarian society against one another. This is shameful! We reject this kind of speech and find that such rhetoric is designed to divide people who are natural allies for building a Hungary based on equality and opportunity.
We also firmly oppose the racial/ethnic profiling against Roma, who are European citizens in other EU countries.This outrageous discrimination that is becoming structural, has led to their removals and effective deportation of Roma back to their countries of origin. The discrimination against EU citizen Bulgarian and Romanian Roma, for example, in countries such as France is well documented. Historically in Europe, the Roma have been denied the right to move, forced to move in other occasions, and been targeted by ethnic cleansing. As ee believe in the right of free movement for everyone, we consider it our duty and honor to join the important event of the Roma Pride.
As it happens, during this time of the Roma Pride Day of Hungary there is an EU-wide internal border check program called ‘Mos Maiorum’ that searches for and captures 'irregular' migrants. This is part of an European system to control the movements of 'unwanted' peoples from traveling from the eastern and southern parts of Europe to the western and northern parts of EU Europe - even if they are only seeking work, refuge or to make a better life.
‘Mos Maiorum’ will, without a doubt, further criminalise people seeking asylum from wars and oppressive states, and become a massive EU-wide coordinated racial profiling system against people typically not wanted in EU europe - people who look Arab, Black, Muslim, or Roma, regardless of their actual origins. We fear that ‘Mos Maiorum’ will be a new model of a high-tech EU coordinated xenophobic/racist control regime targeting the ‘unwanted’ people in Europe, including Roma
To conclude by zooming back to the Hungarian situation, it is important to also notice what is also happening within Hungary today. We see that Roma Hungarians, migrants and refugees in Hungary are targeted and profiled by Hungarian police, all in similar ways - Paper and identity controls on the streets, for example. And, of course, the darker the skin colour the more likely the 'checking.’ And again, this is in coordination with the Hungary’s partners elsewhere in the European Union.
MigSzol is a new organization - in fact, we will be celebrating our 2nd anniversary in the near future and everyone is naturally invited. We are developing a new kind of migrant activist politics in Hungary, and we want to work with and ally with other Hungarian organizations and individuals demanding protection and expansion of civil rights for all in Hungary. Of course, this must also include Hungarian Roma organizations.
We hope that the 2nd Annual Roma Pride Day will be a step forward in building a Hungarian society based on equality and we fight together against discrimination and racism — see you on the streets!