“Protection of national borders rightful interest”

The protection of national borders is a rightful interest of countries and migration must be regulated, Andrew Veprek, deputy assistant secretary at the bureau of population, refugees and migration in the US Department of State said at a migration conference in Budapest on Sunday.

Uncontrolled mass migration is a global phenomenon, yet there is no generally approved definition of the word “migration”, he said at the conference organised by the Mathias Corvinus Collegium. Not even the United Nations migration compact includes a definition, he added. Veprek said the term should be understood to include temporary, voluntary and also forced migration.

Several countries, including the US and Hungary, refused to sign the UN compact, he noted, adding that people who cross the US border illegally are not lawfully in the country and can be detained. The trust citizens put in their government must not be betrayed, he said.

Hungarian Justice Minister Laszlo Trocsanyi told the conference that only a Europe of strong nation states was capable of addressing the great challenges of the day, including migration. He expressed hope that instead of “lecturing each other”, European Union countries can engage in a sensible debate about migration and security. International crises, migration and terrorism have given special significance to border protection, he said. People living in countries with only internal EU borders see the issue differently from those with external borders, he said. The most important task is to address the causes of migration, he added.

Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a former Hamas leader who worked undercover for Israel’s domestic security service and later settled in the US, said many people crossed borders to escape war, social oppression and humiliation, but those who risked their children’s lives and their own for economic reasons were irresponsible. He added that his message to Muslim migrants was to leave behind 7th century Islamic teachings and instead work hard and respect those around them. Muslim societies that want to demonstrate their good intentions must condemn all forms of violence, he added.

Azbej Tristan, Hungarian state secretary in charge of helping persecuted Christians, told the conference that the next European Commission should spend at least as much on helping persecuted Christians and people in their own countries as managing and supporting migration today. Hungary Helps will be developed into a V4 Helps scheme to give aid to persecuted Christians, he said. Polish-Hungarian cooperation has already started in the field, with the two countries jointly supporting an Orthodox orphanage in the Middle East, he added.

Source and photo: MTI

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