In his speech, Orban said "ethnic homogeneity" was fundamental to fostering economic success, and that "too much mixing" caused "trouble."
Hungary currently enjoys a record-low unemployment rate in European Union Member State terms — a mere four percent. Nevertheless, the country faces an acute shortage of labor, with some employers struggling to fill positions — although the Prime Minister was vehement that labor must not be "imported" from elsewhere to solve such shortages, instead suggesting there were other ways to "enhance the value of the homeland."
Unemployment rate decreased to 4.3% in November 2016–January 2017, Unemployment, November 2016–January 2017 https://t.co/NKEkzziuw1— StatsHungary (@StatsHungary) February 27, 2017
Hungary's government "cannot risk changing the fundamental ethnic character of the country — that would toss it into chaos," Orban said.
"I would not like to see the country drift toward a situation where lower-skilled work would only be carried out by foreigners. We ourselves have to do the work required to keep our country going, from scrubbing toilets to nuclear science."
In response, he first instigated a referendum asking the public to endorse his opposition, in which 98 percent of voters were in favor, although the referendum was deemed invalid, as only 44 percent of eligible electors turned up to the polls.
Ever since, the Hungarian government has proposed and enacted a number of strict anti-migrant measures, both legal and physical.
A state of emergency was declared and fences were erected along the country's border with Serbia (the work was completed by prison inmates), patrolled by soldiers, riot police, dogs and helicopters. Orban also proposed "reforming" Hungary's constitution to contain a ban on "foreign populations" settling in Hungary, and detaining all asylum seekers at specially constructed "centers" while their asylum applications to the European Union were being considered.
The Prime Minister has also expressed a desire to erect a protective barrier along the country's border with Romania.
When it was revealed that in 2015, a mere 146 of the 177,135 applicants for asylum in Hungary had been approved, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated that he wished to "keep Europe Christian."
A Hungarian MEP, Gyorgy Schopflin, has even suggested placing pig heads along Hungary's border to deter Muslims from entering the country. Schopflin has refused to apologize, or back down from the issue.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have alike slated the Hungarian government's stance on refugees, both suggesting its policies breach international law, and refugees are being prevented from entering the country via unlawful means.