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This is how they can declare a “state of emergency due to mass immigration”
As previously announced at a press conference by Gergely Gulyas deputy – leader ( of FIDESZ, the governing party of Hungary – trans.), the government is introducing the new term “state of emergency due to mass immigration” effecting changes to legislation on asylum-rights.
With simultaneous modifications to a total of thirteen different regulations, in a situation like this authorities will be able to use special courts, police would get additional powers and the use of military force would be enabled.
Refugee families may be broken up
Now we know more about changes to Criminal Law: it is true that climbing the fence (built recently by the government to keep out refugees on Hungary’s Southern Border – trans.) would in itself be a criminal offence punishable by 3 years (imprisonment – trans. ). Deportation would be automatic in these cases as would confiscation of all assets of the human-traffickers.
A “state of emergency” may be declared by the government by decree if it is instigated by the chief of national police and the head of the immigration bureau, the two persons “responsible for continuous assessment” should specific circumstances arise.
There are conditions for declaring a state of emergency, one of which is the number of asylum – seekers arriving in Hungary
A state of emergency may be declared in the following cases:
Where the number of applicants exceeds:
500 persons per day averaged over a month, or
750 persons per day averaged over two consecutive weeks, or
800 persons per day averaged over a week.
Where the number of people in transit-zones in Hungary (not counting aid workers) exceeds:
1000 persons per day averaged over a month, or
1500 persons per day averaged over two consecutive weeks, or
2000 persons per day averaged over a week.
Where these conditions are not met, it is also sufficient (to declare a state of emergency – trans.) for any center of population to be considered under threat because of an emerging situation that is related to migration, “especially in cases where at the given center of population or in its vicinity there are disturbances or violent acts occurring in facilities receiving, or in any other way providing for the placement of aliens.”
In case of a state of emergency the minister responsible may order the army to handle the registration of applications for asylum with the guidance of the immigration bureau, and the government office for public health will immediately investigate whether “conditions to implement legally prescribed measures in case of an epidemic are met”.
Police may enter without a warrant
Changes to the legislation would make it possible for police – in cooperation with the national security services – to collect information abroad in order to enable operations relating to mass migration to be carried out, thus opening a new front against human-smugglers and traffickers.
In the event of a “state of emergency due to mass immigration” police would be entitled to enter private homes to search for illegal immigrants “if there is good reason to suspect that there are such persons in that private home”
With regard to epidemiological control s, there are a number of measures that can be carried out by police: they may seal off routes, buildings or public areas; they may limit the operation of public facilities and, with a separate written order, may enter to check, monitor and secure private premises.
The Army shall be equipped with live ammunition
Gergely Gulyás said, at his Friday press conference announcing these measures, that there will be serious safeguards when deploying the military. Generally the same rules will apply for these cases as those that apply in any other situation where military personnel are deployed on Hungarian territory.
It is however emphasized in the legislative proposal, which can be consulted on the parliament’s website, that all military personnel will be authorised to use their weapons. According to the text of the decree, soldiers may use weapons capable of causing bodily harm as well as rubber bullets, tear-gas and other crowd-dispersal equipment but these “may not be used to take human lives unless there is no other way to avoid an attack on a person’s life or wellbeing”.
Soldiers would help with border control and could also be involved in any actions deemed necessary to resolve the situation, such as stopping cars, sealing off areas and arresting people. They cannot however take over the role of the police but merely act as assistance whilst executing their tasks.
The proposal also makes clear that it is necessary to precisely define the role of the army involved as well as the numbers, equipment, arms, and areas where commanders are responsible. Up to 200 military personnel and up to a period of 3 weeks, authority rests with the national head of the army to deploy troops; above this number or for a longer period, the minister of defence will make the decision. To deploy more than 3000 troops the minister must also inform the defence committee.
Transit zones are to be 60 metres inside the border
Gulyás said that transit zones will be set up on the borders, on Hungarian territory but these will be sealed off on the Hungarian side and open only towards Serbia.
This is where refugees will need to wait for proceedings to take place to resolve their cases. According to Gulyás the process will take a couple of days. The government hopes that this will ensure that refugees do not get further inland, for example to Budapest. According to changes in legislation regarding state borders there will be an option to set up a border–protection facility within a 60-metre distance from the border as opposed to the previous 10 metres, inclusive of transit zones.
Procedures on the border
Migrants handing in their applications “before entering Hungarian territory” , i.e. in the transit zone:
- will not be automatically eligible to remain and work in the country’s territory (this right was previously awarded to asylum seekers, for 9 months in refugee-camps or in public service, then according to general rules applicable for foreigners).
- The immigration authority will process applications without delay and within a maximum of 8 days.
- Should the application be acceptable or if 4 weeks passed since it was lodged, the alien patrol is to approve entry. Once the applicant has entered the country, further procedures will be handled according to the general regulations that apply.
- No appeal is allowed against refusal of applications handled and at the border.It will not be permissible to submit any new facts or proof to protest against refusal. Courts cannot change the decisions of the immigration office but, if it is deemed necessary, can order the authority to start a new procedure.
Private hearings are to be held by the relevant courts in the transit zones. Hearings can also be held via a telecommunication device if the “immediate connection is provided by a device able to transmit moving pictures and voice at the same time”.
No need for public procurement procedure No public procurement procedures are needed for facilities used for accommodating or restraining refugees. Building, installing or maintaining these are exempt from any legislation governing public expenditure, as they are considered to be procurements essential to ensuring basic national security.
For the placement of refugees, the state will be entitled to use property and equipment belonging to local governments bodies or companies in which the majority of shares belong to the state and/or to a local government. This is restricted to a maximum period of one year. “Third party users of such property under the terms of any other claim are obliged to accept the such use by the state.” Owners can appeal against the handover of properties but “in case of threat to human life, of bodily harm or of public health the appeal shall have no delaying effect”. At the time of handing over a property a detailed written status report shall be taken and, upon return of the property to its owner, the state shall reimburse the owner in cash for any damage that may have occurred.
Austria introduced similar measures recently, with the difference that they actually asked hotel and lodging-house owners, entrepreneurs and civilians to offer buildings and halls suitable for accommodating people.