September 4, 2015 / 11:51 AM / 4 years ago

Hungary passes new laws to stem inflow of migrants

Migrants protest at the railway station in the town of Bicske, Hungary, September 4, 2015. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary’s parliament passed a series of laws on Friday to control the flow of migrants into the country, giving police more authority and setting out strict punishments including prison terms for illegal border crossing.

Hungary is constructing a fence along its border with Serbia, hoping to stem an inflow of migrants after tens of thousands, mostly from places like Syria and Afghanistan, entered the country in recent months.

New laws will make it a criminal offence to cross or damage the fence, and illegal border crossing will be punishable by up to three years in jail.

The new law will make it possible to submit asylum requests at border crossing points and allow for expedited processing of the request.

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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