Joe Barnes, Express, March 2, 2017
The move is likely going to attract severe criticism from the country’s Schengen and European Union partners.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing government considers migration from the Middle East and Africa to be one of the largest threats to the European way of life.
The daunting new barrier is capable of delivering electric shocks to migrants attempting to scale the fence and is also armed with heat sensors, cameras and loudspeakers to further deter them.
Hungary was one of the main crossing points for hundreds of thousands of refugees trekking into Europe at the height of the migrant crisis in 2015.
A barbed-wire fence is already in place after being erected in 2015 as part of Budapest’s initial efforts to prevent migrants and refugees crossing into the country.
It effectively blocked the route to Germany where many were heading, but Hungary has said the second fence would make the barrier more effective and hold back migrants while processing their asylum requests.
Although the pressure on the border is far from the peak of the 2015 crisis, border patrols still prevent hundreds of illegal border crossings per day and escort back dozens of migrants who manage to break through, the government says.
Mr Orban joined several European nations, including Denmark and Sweden, by introducing checks to the passport-free countries, a huge threat to the EU’s open border policy.
Hungary’s “transit zones” are two border posts where a total of just 10 migrants per day are allowed to enter legally.
Loudspeakers blast in English, Arabic and Farsi threats warning of any migrant who may attempt to cross illegally.
“Attention, attention. I’m warning you that you are at the Hungarian border,” they say.
“If you damage the fence, cross illegally, or attempt to cross, it’s counted to be a crime in Hungary. I’m warning you to hold back from committing this crime. You can submit your asylum application nat the transit zone.”
Construction for the second fence has already started near the border station Kelebia, and construction materials have also been shipped to the border elsewhere.
Mr Orban’s chief of staff, Janos Lazar, last week said the government had earmarked £110million for the fence and containment camps to hold migrants.
He said the second border fence, which will extend only to the Hungary-Serbia border for now, would be built as soon as the weather permitted and would be standing by the end of the spring.
The Hungarian government’s practice of allowing only 10 people in per day has been criticising, human rights groups claiming it creates a dangerous bottleneck along the border.
Human Rights Watch deputy director Benjamin Ward said: “The European Commission should not stand by while Hungary makes a mockery of the right to seek asylum.
“Using transit zones as detention centres and forcing asylum seekers who are already inside Hungary back to the Serbian side of the razor-wire fence is abusing, pointless and cruel.”
A government statement rejected the claims, it read: “Human Rights Watch… again tries to denigrate those serving at the border.
“Hungary was among the first to honour the EU’s rules, protects the Schengen borders, stops, registers and separates refugees from economic migrants.”