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The Continued Rise of “Illiberal Democracy” in Hungary: (Re)Claiming Space for Dissent

By Aaron Tolkamp

The recent re-election of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban to a third consecutive term in office has, for many, confirmed that the nationalistic, anti-immigration rhetoric and policies of the Hungarian government are here to stay. Orban, who is unapologetically xenophobic, continues to create and institutionalize a government platform valuing nationalistic patriotism and the maintenance of ethnic Hungarian culture at the cost of human rights organizations, open society defenders, and other NGOs.

Donald Trump’s refugee ban, explained Trump signed an executive order Friday afternoon that bans all immigrants and visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US for 90 days, and opens the door to more country-based bans in future. It also bans all refugee admissions for 120 days — and bans Syrian refugees indefinitely. It slashes the US’s refugee quota for 2017 to less than half of the level set by President Obama, directs the US to prioritize “religious minorities” for the remaining slots, and bars all refugees from countries that aren’t specifically approved by the US government. And it tasks the federal government with coming up with a new process to screen everyone hoping to immigrate to the US, one that requires each individual immigrant to prove she or he would be a “positively contributing member of society.” Legal challenges to the order have already begun, and the Trump Administration and Department of…