Talking with children is always astounding - there was a bit of a lost in translation moment when we met and discovered that this group of four small boys could talk in Farsi, Turkish, and German. It is crazy to imagine there is a whole generation of such multilingual children.
We spoke with ca. 10 men staying in the camp. Many of them described how they had come to the camp in the recent weeks after being released from the prisons in Kiskunhalas and Bekescsaba. They all said that the camp is a good place, now - they all have their own rooms, the food is good, and they get weekly allowance money. They said they can sleep in peace in the camp. Given this positive feedback (and we would like to extend our gratitude to the person managing the camp), we are only left to wonder, why does the government so vehemently try to close the camp? Indeed, we spoke also about the closure of the camp, since many people had heard rumours of it. The news of the planned closure of Bicske understandably created a feeling of fear and insecurity - what will happen to the people staying in the camp, we were asked.
People were aware of the closure of the Serbian-Hungarian border - and it is quite telling of the European system that they all arrived much before 2016. After that, they had been to numerous European Union member states - some to England, others to Sweden, some to Germany - but been deported back to other countries like pieces on a game board. Although some people told us they would still like to unite with their families who are living in other countries, many also said they are tired of moving around, being sent to prisons, and detained - and they would much rather now just stay in Hungary. The problem, they said, is that they have had no Hungarian language education. Of course, thanks to the latest moves by the government, they won’t be able to have any sort of housing either, after they get a refugee status.
Most of the people we talked to were rejected to get asylum, some of them more times already, and an interesting thing is that most of them had no idea about the possibility to have a Helsinki lawyer. It was more common that the people had a lawyer from those who were “in the other building”, who are assigned there by the state and were already really mistrustful when we told them they have another possibility to get a free lawyer.
Those who want to unite with their families in other countries after Hungary (the people we asked were just 20 years old) were incredibly disappointed and surprised to hear that with the refugee travel document they are not allowed to move to other European countries to work legally. This highlights the issue that European Union is basically creating a huge black economy by not letting people with a refugee status work freely across the European Union - instead, they will have to watch Hungarians emigrate in masses, while they themselves are stuck here.