EFEBudapest

The Hungarian parliament approved on Friday a package of laws that stipulates penalties of up to three years in prison for illegal crossing of their borders, which could amount to five years in cases where weapons are used or damage has been inflicted on the wire fence on the borders with Serbia.

The conservative Hungarian government seeks through these laws to alleviate the pressure of immigration faced by the country for a few months now, in which more than 160,000 refugees have arrived in the European country through Serbia since the beginning of the year.

Most of these immigrants have fled the horrors of war in Syria and Afghanistan; however, they do not want to remain in Hungary and seek to reach either Germany or Austria.

Leader of the parliamentary alliance of Fidesz, Antal Rogan said that the new laws will be put into force from September 15.

Accordingly, Rogan said that the Hungarian government will be able to declare a state of crisis, adding that beginning on that date, crossing borders will be considered a crime, according to MTI news agency.

On the other hand, legislations have toughened penalties against human trafficking with punishments of up to 20 years in prison.

The new laws also stipulate the establishment of a 60-meter border strip on the Serbian border as a transit zone for registration of refugees or asylum seekers.

The newly approved legislations will allow the government to declare a state of crisis amid mass immigration, noting that this measure will expire after a period of six months.

During this period, the government will be able to build "national security" facilities in Hungarian regions and local municipalities.

The parliament is scheduled next week to discuss another package of bills that would allow the deployment of army units to protect the borders.

The leftist opposition, which rejected the new legislations as well as other humanitarian organizations, branded these laws as "authoritarian" and "unconstitutional".