Hungary to ‘arrest illegal immigrants’ starting next week, PM warns

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban says migrants who are caught crossing the border illegally after September 15 will be arrested.

Orban told reporters on Friday that order needs to be restored after thousands of migrants who entered Hungary over the past week have seized railway stations, rejected registration, and confronted police.

"Considering that we are facing a rebellion by illegal migrants, police have done their job in a remarkable way, without using force," Orban told reporters, according to the Reuters news agency.

Tough new immigration laws are due to take effect on September 15, and Orban warned that those who cross the border illegally will be arrested, Reuters reported. Hungary is struggling to cope with an influx of some 150,000 migrants so far this year, part of the wider European refugee crisis.

Orban's comments came as the International Organization for Migration said more than 430,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe so far this year, more than double the total for the whole of last year. Updated figures showed that an estimated 309,356 people arrived by boat in Greece, with another 121,139 arriving in Italy, 2,166 in Spain and 100 in Malta.

The figures are more than double when compared to the 197,940 people who crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in all of 2014. The crossing is also one of the deadliest in the world: at least 2,748 migrants have died this year alone trying to reach Europe.

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