As the world watches the continuing migrant crisis in Europe, Hungary has quietly gone rogue by building a massive fence to keep people out of its country. The question is, did Hungary actually get it right?
The Atlantic reported on October 16, 2015:
Hungary will close its border with Croatia at midnight in an attempt to prevent migrants from entering the country, officials said Friday.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said people would only be able to cross into the country through official border stations and submit asylum requests at two locations, Reuters reported. The country completed construction of a razor-wire barrier along the 220-mile border with Croatia this week.
More than 378,000 migrants and refugees bound for Europe have crossed into Hungary since the start of the year, fleeing war and poverty in their native countries, mostly in the Middle East. The vast majority of them are making their way westward to Germany, which has suspended the European Union’s usual rules for asylum-seekers specifically for Syrians fleeing that country’s civil war.
Hungary sealed its 110-mile border with Serbia with a similar fence last month, leaving thousands of migrants stranded. They went through Croatia instead, where the government transported them on buses and trains to Hungary’s border with Austria. With the Croatia border sealed, migrants will be forced to look for alternate routes, perhaps through Romania, which has so far not been a major transit country for them.
Not satisfied with closing Hungary’s borders, the country’s prime minister also wants Greece – “the biggest point of entry into Central Europe for refugees” – to close its borders, too.
Some will argue that there should be no such thing as borders, that they are an impediment to human freedom. But what about those who want to maintain their country and culture? Should a nation have the right to determine who can enter its country and use its services? Of course!
If you’re a fan of Polandball, the political and historical cartoon series, there was a good one recently on Hungary. Here it is:
There will always be pain and suffering around the world. At what point does a small country like Hungary (or even a large country like the United States) look out for its own interests, rather than sacrifice itself for the world? Hungary might have the right idea.
Devin is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Charlemagne Institute, which operates Intellectual Takeout, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and the Alcuin Internship. He is a graduate of Hillsdale College where he studied history and political science. Prior to co-founding Charlemagne Institute, he served as the Director of Development at the Center of the American Experiment, a state-based think tank in Minnesota.
Devin is a contributor to local and national newspapers, a frequent guest on a variety of talk shows, such as Minneapolis' KTLK and NPR's Talk of the Nation, and regularly shares culture and education insights presenting to civic groups, schools, and other organizations. In 2011, he was named a Young Leader by the American Swiss Foundation.
Devin and his wife have been married for eighteen years and have six children. When he's not working, Devin enjoys time with family while also relaxing through reading, horticulture, home projects, and skiing and snowboarding.