Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, criticized at home and abroad for his anti-immigrant comments, threatened to seal the country’s border with Serbia as part of efforts to stem the flow of refugees.What is actually happening with this billboard campaign is that left wing groups are destroying them. If right-wingers did this to "anti-racist," open borders billboards it would be a serious international controversy. However, because these leftists are doing things the international system supports, the Main Stream Media is cheering. More importantly, the United Nations is jumping in, trying to change the policy of a sovereign state.
“We will consider all possible options, including a complete frontier shutdown,” Orban said on public radio Friday. The European Union should set up refugee centers outside its territory and decide who to take in prior to immigrants entering the 28-member bloc, he said.
The conflicts in Syria and Libya have driven migration to Europe to the highest level since the early 1990s. The surge has sparked plans across the continent to tighten borders and Bulgaria started to build a fence on its border with Turkey to keep migrants out.
Hungary claims it handles a disproportionately large burden of migrants. There were 54,000 border violators by June, an increase from 43,000 for all of 2014, Janos Lazar, minister in charge of the prime minister’s office, said Thursday. The cabinet estimates as many as 130,000 illegal immigrants will arrive in Hungary this year.
The government is polling voters on immigration, including on possible links with terrorism, and started a billboard campaign that drew criticism from the United Nations and the European Parliament.
[Hungary threatens to close Serb border to stop migrant flow, by Edith Balazs and Zoltan Simon, Bloomberg, June 12, 2015].
Liberal and left-wing opposition parties are so incensed by a message they believe whips up xenophobia, that activists have started defacing every poster they find...Why a nation's immigration policy is a valid concern of the United Nations is a mystery, especially considering the international organization's failure to do anything about the issues of war and peace that actually do fall into its purview. What is clear is that the international system is unwilling to tolerate any sovereign state.
Now critics of the government's moves have found an ally, in the form of the regional office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
To mark World Refugee Day on 20 June, the UNHCR has prepared its own set of giant billboards, highlighting refugees who have successfully integrated into Hungarian society.
This poster features Zeeshan, a Pakistani man who plays in the enthusiastic, but little known, national cricket team.
"I want to play well for this country," his message reads.
Another UN poster features Sophie, originally from Togo, and now a nanny in a Hungarian kindergarten.
"The children are full of trust. They have no prejudices," her caption reads.
"We want to live here, and that's why we opened our restaurant," announces Begum Ali, who runs a small Bangladeshi family restaurant near Budapest's East Station.
The UN describes its posters as an "interesting dialogue with the Hungarian government's anti-immigrant billboard campaign".
[Hungary's poster war on immigration, by Nick Thorpe, BBC, June 14, 2015]
Paradoxically, the best way to combat this would be for nationalists and patriots in different nations to work together. But that is hard to do when Prime Minister Viktor Orban is arresting people who have the same enemies he does.