The New York Times
"As a former adviser to the British prime minister, David Cameron, I understand the pressure politicians face from citizens demanding controlled immigration and tightly policed borders. As the son of immigrants welcomed into Britain from Communist Hungary, I feel a strong moral instinct to extend a similar welcome to others fleeing their homelands in even worse circumstances. But still. Before condemning European politicians, aid agencies or anyone else, let’s try to cut through the complexity with some simple human truths.
First, stop blaming Hungary. For months before this crisis hit the headlines in America, my hometown, Szeged, was the front line. Just days before I was there on a family vacation in July, 700 refugees were discovered in the woods where we used to play as children. My cousins told me, outraged, about the seemingly unending flow of new arrivals stealing fruit from their friends’ trees and vegetables from their gardens; urinating and defecating in public places throughout the town; clogging up public services.
You could say: How xenophobic. Or instead: How would you feel if your daily life was being made intolerable while the authorities, thanks to European Union rules about registering refugees, seemed unable to restore order? Hungary is small and relatively poor. It’s a little unfair, to put it mildly, to condemn Hungary for callous — even racist — treatment of migrants when those doing the condemning bear far more responsibility for the crisis. Yes, America, I’m talking about you."