The Hungarian government says that around 1,500 illegal migrants—mainly from the Middle East—enter Hungary daily.
In response, the authorities are erecting a 4-meter (13 foot) fence along its border with Serbia. When it is finished at the end of this month, it will be 175 km (109 miles) long.
Earlier, it was expected to be ready by November.
Prison inmates are currently still manufacturing the fence’s components, which are being assembled and erected by Hungarian soldiers and the unemployed on the border.
According to Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs, interviewed in the above BBC video, Hungary needs to build the fence because no one in Europe is prepared for the vast numbers of illegal migrants.
A million illegal migrants are expected by the end of the year.
“The nature and the number of the illegal migrants into the European Union is unwanted by all European countries,” Kovacs says.
According to the Financial Times, a recent poll commissioned by a conservative magazine, 63 per cent of Hungarian respondents believe that immigration poses a threat to the country’s security.
After making their way through the Balkans, 38,000 illegal migrants and refugees entered Hungary alone last month. Fleeing poverty and conflict, many are from Syria and Afghanistan, and some are from further afield, such as Pakistan and Bangladesh. Some, as you see in the BBC video, are also from Africa.
All are searching for a better life.
According to the above report, these people are making their way through Serbia, where authorities there either turn a blind eye or point them further westward.
Hungary’s fence has been criticized by some rights groups, the UN’s refugee agency, and the European Commission.
Hungary is not the only nation to use fences on it borders in response to the migrant crisis in Europe.
Spain’s small African enclave has a razor wire fence on its border with Morocco that was built to try and keep out thousands of desperate West Africans. See video of one mass attempt to scale that fence below:
Bulgaria has also erected a 33-km-long (20.8-mile) barbed-wire fence on its border with Turkey to try and deal with the increasing number of people—mainly from war-torn Syria—crossing their border illegally.
“The main purpose of this facility is to redirect them to the border checkpoints where they can legally enter the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria in the way it is done in any other country,” said Bulgarian Defense Minister Angel Naydenov, according to AP.
This is a problem that is not going to go away anytime soon,