Politics

Immigration Crisis: Police Catch 5400 Illegal Migrants Over The Weekend As Pressure On Southern Border Expected To Increase

Hungarian Police apprehended a total of 5,386 border violators over the last weekend. A report published on the police’s website shows that 2,181 persons were apprehended on Friday, 1,002 on Saturday and 2,203 on Sunday. Criminal proceedings were started against 38 people for human smuggling and against five people for forging documents. Most border violators were caught in the southern parts of Csongrád County, a police spokesman said. A total of 1,991 people, including 518 children, were stopped on Sunday, and most of them claiming to be Syrian citizens, Szabolcs Szenti said.

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Meanwhile some 5,000 migrants have arrived in Serbia from Macedonia since Sunday afternoon and around half of them already set off in the direction of the Hungarian border, Hungary’s M1 news channel reported. This is the largest wave of migrants reaching Serbia, and they could reach Hungary within days, M1’s correspondent said in Presevo. Around 500 migrants spent the night at the registration point at Röszke, on the southern border as lines of tents around the registration point were interspersed with camp fires, and migrants who did not have tents spent the “very cold” night on the ground in blankets or sleeping bags.  Most migrants asked volunteers for blankets and sleeping bags, as well as medical aid, since many children had fevers due to the recent cold snap. The correspondent said many were coughing.

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Ever since sunrise, more and more migrants arrived at the registration point. Police were constantly taking new migrants to the new registration point which opened at the weekend, as well as to the original one. A group of 30-40 men, thought to be Afghan nationals, became tired of waiting and attempted to leave, but they were stopped by police, M1’s correspondent said from the site. The men were isolated. No tear gas or batons were used. The men were chanting “Freedom!” and “No camp!” Some 500 people spent the night altogether at the registration area. They were to be transported by buses to a refugee camp. Meanwhile, in the north-western village of Vámosszabadi, near the site of a refugee camp, a group of migrants were seen walking towards the city of Győr under police escort. They had been transported to the camp from Röszke earlier, but they did not enter the camp

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In Hegyeshalom on the Hungary-Austria border the “old” border crossing on Highway 1 was still closed to general traffic and only migrants’ buses were allowed to pass through. International trains departing from Budapest’s Keleti station directly to Austria resumed, running according to the normal timetable. It will not be necessary to change trains at the Hegyeshalom border station, railway company MÁV said. After the suspension of international westbound services from Keleti station on Thursday due to the chaos that ensued after migrants decided to leave for Austria and Germany en masse, the situation has quietened down and limited services resumed on Saturday.

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via hungarymatters.hu and hirado.hu photos Zoltán Gergely Kelemen and Edvárd Molnár (MTI)