The Guardian: "Should Britain fear a surge of east European migrants?"

by Joseph McKeown


As the debate in the US over immigration reform continues into the new year, the UK is also facing their own immigration issues. It's over opening up the UK labor market to Romanian and Bulgarians, effective January 1, when labor restrictions for these Eastern European nationals expire. The Guardian has a debate over the issue, and a recent poll shows that 72% of British people aged 35-44 support rights of these Eastern European workers to come to live and work in the UK. The article notes that in  "spite of a surge of anti-immigrant rhetoric from leading politicians, British people are happy to accept migrants from the east of Europe who learn English, get a job, pay taxes and become part of their local community."

Despite the January 1 date, The Guardian reports that a "nervous coalition government has rushed out measures making new arrivals wait longer before they can claim benefits – and, more controversially, is calling for a wider debate on the principle of free movement within the European Union and perhaps even an EU migration cap." Aboard the first flight of the new year from Romania was Romanian Victor Spiersau, who said: "'I don't come to rob your country. I come to work and go home.'"