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Hungary's parliament has passed new legislation criminalizing lawyers and activists who help asylum seekers.

Anyone who "facilitates illegal immigration" faces a year in prison.

Viktor Orban's government has dubbed the legislation the "Stop Soros Law", after the billionaire philanthropist accused of supporting Muslim migrants.

The vote in Budapest came hours after a number of European Union leaders agreed to hold crisis talks on revising asylum rules.

Hungary says immigration is a threat to its national security, but its tough stance and new law have been met with widespread international criticism.

The UN refugee agency urged Hungarian officials to scrap the proposed law and legal experts from the Council of Europe's human rights organization called for a postponement of the vote until they submitted an evaluation of the measures on Friday.

A leaked report by the Council's Venice Commission said the Hungarian law "criminalizes organizational activities not directly related to the achievement of illegal migration".

According to MSM, the law is controversial because the new legislation amends eight existing laws and creates a new crime of "aiding illegal immigration".

Under the new law, anyone working for or with non-governmental organizations ( such as Soros's ) or involved in helping or campaigning for asylum seekers could be jailed. Human rights groups insist that they are only trying to help people who are legally allowed to apply for asylum in Hungary.

The measures also tighten restrictions on asylum so that anyone trying to enter Hungary from a third country where they are not directly threatened with persecution cannot claim protection.

In a related development, MPs approved an amendment to the constitution stipulating that "foreign populations cannot be settled in Hungary", effectively banning the European Commission's attempts to transfer asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other EU countries.

When some 400,000 people traveled through Hungary in the midst of the 2015 migrant crisis on their way to Western Europe, Orban had fences erected to stop the influx. The Commission imposed a mandatory asylum quota for every EU member state in response to the crisis, but Orban refused to accept it.

In 2015, 177 000 people applied for asylum in Hungary, but only a few hundred were accepted. Last year, the number of asylum applications fell to around 3,200.

Georges Soros, a Hungarian by birth, pulled his eponymous foundation out of Hungary in 2018 after Orban announced further tightening restrictions on NGOs. Soros believed Hungary was creating an increasingly repressive environment Open Society Foundations ( OSF ) had initially announced it would move its headquarters to Berlin, but eventually relocated to Manhattan New York

BBC portrays Orban as an authoritarian who thinks there is an invasion of Muslims in Europe. Knowing from where the wind is blowing, this characterization should come as no surprise.

Between Soros and Orban, things are going hard to hard. It looks like Soros' power is limited after all. Not everyone is for sale. Fortunately.

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