August 2015 – BUDAPEST, Hungary — The latest surge of migrants crossing the Balkans has brought a record number to Hungary despite government efforts to quickly build a 4-meter (13-foot) high fence on the Serbian border to stop them. According to police data, 2,093 migrants were detained Monday, the highest figure so far this year. Over the past week, the daily average was of 1,493 migrants.
Government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said Tuesday that “unsustainable conditions” would develop in Budapest and other large European cities unless concerted efforts were made to establish “some kind or order or regularity” regarding the flow of migrants. About 140,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, over three times as many as in all of 2014, but most quickly leave for richer European Union countries like Germany or the Netherlands. – NY Times
South America: Venezuela has deported hundreds of Colombians as part of a security offensive along the border that is causing tensions between the two neighboring countries. More than one thousand Colombians who had been living in Venezuela illegally were handed over to Colombian authorities, according to Gov. Jose Gregorio Vielma Mora of Tachira state. Venezuela says this is a crackdown against smugglers and criminal gangs operating along the border.
Last week Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro closed a major crossing and declared a state of emergency in several western cities after three army officers were shot and wounded by gunmen he said belonged to paramilitary gangs operating from Colombia. The gunmen have not been caught or identified, but the incident touched a nerve with supporters of Maduro’s administration, who increasingly have placed blame for rampant crime and widespread shortages on Colombians.
Venezuela has added about 1,500 extra troops to the border area to do house by house searches looking for smugglers who buy goods at low prices in Venezuela and resell them across the border for big profits. Former Venezuelan ambassador and current Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, went to the border Monday to supervise humanitarian efforts amid reports from deportees that families had been broken up and their homes bulldozed as part of the dragnet. “We’re convinced that closing the border isn’t how we fight contraband,” Holguin said. Vielma Mora, the Venezuelan governor, denied reports of abuses, which The Associated Press was unable to verify. He said all those deported were treated with respect.
A Colombian official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the situation was tense but there was little to suggest that Venezuela had violated international conventions in its treatment of detainees. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Maduro’s action would hurt communities on both sides of the border and generate unease. An estimated 5 million Colombians live in Venezuela, many of them without permission, and the flow of people and goods across the border has been a fixture of daily life for decades, changing direction with the shifting fortunes of each nation’s economy. –NBC News
UK passes tough new draconian laws to imprison illegal immigrants
Illegal immigrants will face six months in jail if they come to work in the UK and late-night takeaways and taxi firms will be closed if they employ them, ministers will announce. Ahead of net migration figures on Thursday that are expected to show a record number of foreigners are coming to the UK, the Government will unveil its latest crackdown on illegal foreign workers. As part of the plans drawn up in the wake of the Calais immigration crisis, the Government will create a new offence of illegal working which will come with a prison sentence of up to six months as well as an unlimited fine.
The authorities will also be able to seize wages as “proceeds of crime.” It means that instead of being taken to detention centers, illegal migrants will be processed through the courts before being taken to jail. Ministers believe it will act as a deterrent and prevent thousands of migrants attempting to gain access to the UK from European ports including Calais. Mr. Brokenshire said: “Anyone who thinks the UK is a soft touch should be in no doubt – if you are here illegally, we will take action to stop you from working, renting a flat, opening a bank account or driving a car.” He added: “Through our new Immigration Bill, illegal workers will face the prospect of a prison term and rogue employers could have their businesses closed, have their licenses removed, or face prosecution if they continue to flout the law.” –Telegraph