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Hungary pulls out of EU asylum agreement

By Tomas Monzon
Hungary pulls out of EU asylum agreement
Hungary plans to build a fence along its border with Serbia to deter immigration. Photo by MyImages - Micha/Shutterstoc

BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 24 (UPI) -- Hungary announced Wednesday it is pulling out of an EU agreement to send asylum seekers back to their point of entry for a review of their claims.

As Hungary deals with rising immigration, it has indefinitely suspended the European Union agreement on asylum, known as the Dublin Regulation.

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Hungary formally blamed its decision on technical reasons, claiming that the government is working to expand the capacities of its asylum system and that until this is done, other member states should not send any more immigrants to Hungary.

The Regulation, a key part of the EU's refugee policy, says that migrants should begin their asylum proceedings in the country where they entered the EU. If they travel to another country, they may be sent pack to their point of entry.

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The tension-inducing policy is under review. Italy, Spain and Hungary have become hubs for immigrants from Syria, Afghanistan and other countries that are seeking refuge in the more affluent nations of Northern and Western Europe. Finland and Germany have stopped sending asylum seekers back to Greece after it complained about being overburdened.

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Hungary's refusal of the Regulation comes days after the country released plans to build a 109-mile-long, 13-foot-high fence to run the length of its border with Serbia. Although some laws must be amended before construction begins, the fence is set to be built as fast as possible.

Hungary claims that Serbia is a part of the route taken by illegal immigrants coming from unstable countries like Kosovo.

RELATED Hungary to build fence on Serbian border to deter immigration

The fence plan accompanies government propaganda compelling immigrants to not take Hungarian jobs, which has prompted criticism from rights groups and other entities that have called the campaign xenophobic.

At least 54,000 migrants have entered Hungary so far this year, compared to 43,000 in 2014. At least 10,000 illegal crossings were recorded in January alone.

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