Misgzol fully agrees with these critical voices and is extremely happy to see so many people in Hungary taking part in the debate on migration and asylum. We would, however, add another dimension to the discussion: the simple and brutal fact that building a fence grossly violates people’s human right to move and seek asylum, and that it effectively pushes thousands of people to take the deadly route over the Mediterranean.
Let’s take a look at the existing fences on the Southern external borders of the EU. Spain-Morocco. Bulgaria-Turkey. Greece-Turkey. After we add Hungary-Serbia to this list the only unfenced part of the EU’s southern borders are the Croatia-Bosnia and Romania/Bulgaria-Serbia borders. At the same time, the legal ways of migrating to the EU are extremely limited. The immediate effect of the strict visa policies and the fencing off the land borders of the EU, is, of course, that it forces people to try to reach safety via alternative routes. This is part of the reason why the Mediterranean sea is currently the deadliest border crossing on earth. Setting up a fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia directly contributes to turning the Mediterranean into even more of a mass grave.
Photo: Migrants have climbed the fence in Melilla to watch Spanish golfers, 2013. via The Guardian
The Dublin Regulation forces people to apply for asylum in the country where they have first entered the European Union, and consequently forces recognized refugees to stay, work and integrate in that country. It is very difficult for migrants and refugees to find a place to live in Hungary. So difficult that an increasing number of them, regardless of legal status, choose living in Western Europe without papers over being homeless on the streets of Budapest.
At the same time the Dublin Regulation effectively robs migrants of the kinship- and friendship-networks they have in other European countries. Searching a refuge is in most cases an unpredictable journey, not a planned-out trip. Given the precarious routes available to them, refugees are unable to choose their country of entry and, given the regulations, stay. In short: if there was no Dublin, there would be no excuse for the fence as there would be no buffer zones, and Hungary would not be the factory of sans papiers that it is now.
Thus, we face a struggle on two fronts: against the outrageously racist policies and rhetoric of the Hungarian government and Jobbik, as well as against the Dublin Regulation. The latter is a struggle that has long been staged by fellow activists in other European countries. As Migszol, we think that it is high time for Hungary to think and talk about Europe’s involvement in perpetuating a life-endangering regime of access to asylum.
All this said, let’s end on a positive, if challenging, note. Following the extremely successful counter-campaign by the Hungarian Two Tailed Dog Party and Vastagbor, a campaign that mobilized thousands of Hungarians, we simply refuse to see Hungary as a xenophobic and racist society. The challenge, then, is the following: how do we mobilize all this energy to fight against the government's policy as well as the Dublin regulation?