Ahead of new rules that allow Hungarian authorities to jail people trying to enter undetected, migrants scramble to find refuge and avoid getting stuck in limbo. Mana Rabiee reports.
The clock is ticking in Hungary for scores of migrants who hope to cross this EU nation for richer destinations further west. Come Tuesday, tough new rules go into effect giving Hungarian authorities the power to arrest and jail anyone caught trying to enter from the Serbian border undetected. So crowds of migrants are now trying other routes through the Balkans, ahead of the right-wing government's new policy that's just hours away. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SYRIAN REFUGEE, MOHAMMAD, SAYING: "We know we all must be fast, fast, fast, fast." By noon, more than 5,000 migrants had crossed from Serbia ahead of Tuesday's crackdown - near the record this year for a single day. And they're not only battling new rules... but also the border fence that Hungary is erecting to keep its unwanted visitors out. David Milliband, chief of the International Rescue Committee, says Europe needs a "bold" response, but says fences aren't the answer. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE (IRC) CHIEF, DAVID MILIBAND, SAYING: "Some of the scenes we've seen have been shameful for Europe, and no one should believe that fences are going to keep people out. Fences will simply mean more ingenuity and more money for criminal gangs to get into Europe." But the fence IS going up, while Germany and Austria impose their own border controls, creating fears of a backlog of desperate people who will be stuck in limbo.