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to think immigration is a major threat to this country?

(196 Posts)
Sel Sun 09-Dec-12 11:08:15

I have just been reading in the Sunday Times about the potential situation this country will face in 2014. Restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants will be lifted; after Luxembourg, we have the most generous benefit system in the EU with no requirement to have contributed to the pot prior to claiming. Makes the UK a bit of a magnet, I would think to the truely impoverished of Romania and Bulgaria.

petallus Sun 09-Dec-12 11:17:03

Sounds worrying given our shortage of housing and jobs.

People at the bottom end of society will be most threatened.

whenim64 Sun 09-Dec-12 11:30:42

Can't blame them for wanting a better life for their families. If I was impoverished, I would most likely head over here, too. There's a balance to be found somewhere. We need immigration for doctors and nurses, scientists, labourers etc. We need to be able to emigrate, too. It's just a matter of striking a reasonable balance, but I wouldn't expect the Times to share my view. Our benefit system will be looking less generous soon, if this government stays in control. smile

Greatnan Sun 09-Dec-12 11:35:13


annodomini Sun 09-Dec-12 12:21:41

It isn't immigration in itself that poses a threat; it's the attitudes to migrants fostered by irresponsible journalists and rabble-rousing politicians.

Bags Sun 09-Dec-12 12:23:04

How do "truly impoverished" people afford to travel?

Jodi Sun 09-Dec-12 12:35:52

anno well said. We are a nation of mongrels anyway. We've been invaded by Romans, Viking, Normans, etc and settled by many races fleeing from poverty, war, persecution and injustice. They brought their genes with them and it seems to have created a decent sort of hybrid race!!

How about we organise a sort of swop? You take our layabouts, shirkers and thugs and we'll swop them for nurses, scientists and entrepreneurs? hmm

Jodi Sun 09-Dec-12 12:37:16

On second thoughts that sounds like a bad bargain for the donating nation.

gracesmum Sun 09-Dec-12 13:01:24

Lets not get seduced into the red-top fallacy that imimgrant = layabout (or even benefit seeker) I do personally think that is is a good thing if people contribute to the society they live in - whether born here or not - and I only have to look at the fantastic and not infrequently over-qualified *Filippino/Eastern European/ Oriental/Asian nursing staff I am encountering in the NHS, the friendly and polite waiting staff in many restaurants (again often Eastern European) Polish plumbers and the many excellent highly qualified senior doctors from Europe or Africa to realise that they are making a *huge contribution to our society. Where are for instance the UK kids in the hospitality industry?They are rarely waiters (or hospital porters in the NHS.) They don't want to do the hours, they don't like the idea of "service" which they see as demeaning, they are content to know they have guaranteed benefits or the bank of mum and dad and somewhere to "chill" with their mates.

It's not the immigrants who worry me - they see an opportunity to make a good living and take it, often working all the hours their God gives them - it's the "white underclass" - the under-educated kids from homes where a wage may never have been earned, where they may be 2nd or 3rd generation benefit seekers and where the family structure is nothing bu a memory.

gracesmum Sun 09-Dec-12 13:02:32

Sorry - don't know where all the "black" came from - entirely accidental!blush

Movedalot Sun 09-Dec-12 13:04:44

I am surprised we don't have more Greeks here.

I would welcome people who are able to contribute to society and to integrate but feel that we should have better border controls and be a little selective about who we allow in and make sure that those who come in on visas leave when they should.

I don't blame those who come here for a better life for their families even if that does mean they live on benefit. I blame us for allowing this to happen.

Lilygran Sun 09-Dec-12 13:10:54

Did anyone see the story about the UK family which emigrated to New Zealand a few years ago but which will now have to come back? The father left a job and set up in business for himself, then became ill and can't work. They have been refused leave to stay and will be deported back here. It seems harsh to me - what do others think?

JessM Sun 09-Dec-12 13:12:43

Well said gracesmum and I liked your accidental highlighting.
I was in Caernarfon the other week. "our " waitress was working her socks off - every night, every morning, and charming with it. Where was she from - Hungary. Is there high unemployment in the area? I'd bet there is.

Bags Sun 09-Dec-12 13:27:26

Plenty of seasonal work in N Wales castly places though, perhaps?

Barrow Sun 09-Dec-12 13:33:16

I welcome anyone to this country who is prepared to make a contribution and yes a lot of them take the jobs that some young people won't but lets not tar all young people with the same brush. Yes there are some who don't want to work and something should be done to make them make some contribution - but there are also many who would like to work but are unable to find a job.

I also think we should have stronger border controls, as other countries do. You could not move to Australia without showing you are able to support yourself (I believe in the case of a retired person they are required to deposit 125,000 A$ which the country only returns when that person has shown they have been able to support themselves over a certain number of years).

Riverwalk Sun 09-Dec-12 13:46:14

When I lived in Saudi Arabia and used to frequent expat forums it never ceased to amuse me when British expats in various parts of the world used to foam at the mouth about immigration into the UK and how it was a bad thing!

Oh, the irony of them complaining about all the foreigners. grin

whenim64 Sun 09-Dec-12 13:50:07

Bags i have met some impoverished people who begged, stole and borrowed their way from their home countries over the course of months to get here. Others take loans from loan sharks and are met at the airport by heavies who want their 4,000% interest. They get jobs in the black economy and pay the loan sharks money every week, then send money home to their families. A miserable existence. They don't qualify for benefits and sleep on other people's floors.

nightowl Sun 09-Dec-12 14:05:59

Let's not demonise the white underclass. There are historical reasons why we are now seeing second and third generations who have never had a job. There are large areas where the industries were destroyed and along with them the sense of community that had existed for generations. It's unfair to make them the scapegoats for all the ills of this society when they are victims.

gracesmum Sun 09-Dec-12 14:17:50

I don't think it is necessarily demonising them to recognise that this group exists andwhat I said was that I genuinely worry about them . It is apparent in schools, where black afro-caribbean and asian teenagers are often outperforming many of their white counterparts. Yes they are victims of society but so are the economic migrants. The "red-tops" are quick to jump on the UKIP or whatever bandwaggon banging on about sending them back to wherever. I am not saying one group is blameless and another lazy or indigent - just that when we talk of contribution to the society they live in, many immigrants put many "native" citizens to shame. There is clearly work available for some sections ofsociety- why are our under-educated kids failing to compete?

nightowl Sun 09-Dec-12 16:03:11

gracesmum you are right. I misunderstood your post. I worry about them too, and it makes me sad that they are the one group it seems acceptable to vilify.

JessM Sun 09-Dec-12 16:10:55

And certainly round here, who are the folk who start new businesses and create jobs? Let me think about that for a picosecond. Disproportionate number of ethnic minorities.

Ana Sun 09-Dec-12 16:12:12

What about Romanians and Bulgarians, though, as mentioned in the OP?

JessM Sun 09-Dec-12 16:12:20

And yes, it is disappointing that so many poor white kids still have such "poor outcomes".

jeni Sun 09-Dec-12 16:12:54

What I can't understand are the ones who get French Dutch or German nationality and then come here for the benefits. Apparently they're better here. But they still go abroad for their medicine!

Greatnan Sun 09-Dec-12 16:52:54

I am an immigrant and so are my daughter and her family. I left Britain because I like the climate and scenery of France. She left because she thought they would have a much better lifestyle in New Zealand (and they have). We have both met the idiots who are also immigrants and ask if we have left Britain to get away from 'all those immigrants'. I don't feel able to be judgemental about anybody else who leaves their home and family to try and find a better life. I had to prove that I had a guaranteed income of a certain level before I became a permanent resident in France, and my daughter and her husband had to fulfil many conditions before they obtained two year visas for him to work in NZ. Perhaps the UK should institute similar conditions for entry. However, I think the concept of asylum needs to be extended to women who flee their own country because they are threatened with forced marriage or genital mutilation, etc.

25% of pharmacists in England are from the Indian Sub-continent. I am sure that they are vastly over-represented in dentistry and optical services. They are under-represented in Science and Engineering. Their parents came to Europe and worked 18 hour days to make sure their children had a good education. Take-up of higher education is very high. They are slowly making inroads into the law and other professions.
At the moment the East Europeans are from the most disadvantaged groups in their countries, including the Roma. It will take time for them to integrate.Yes, there are a number of very undesirable people amongst them, gangsters and pimps and people who force children to beg. They need to be dealt with by the law.