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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Europe Faces Some New Immigration Issues

President Obama's State of the Union Address last night touched fairly lightly on immigration reform, although my son, Greg Weeks, blogged today that some people think the window for getting something done will stay open longer on immigration issues than on other things that Obama mentioned. But, even as the US continues to dither on immigration reform, the issue of immigration is taking a new turn in Western Europe, especially the UK, where the concern is growing about the number of migrants from Eastern Europe, especially Bulgaria and Romania. The Economist this week discusses the issue:
No European Union (EU) country is as worried as Britain about the uncontrolled mass immigration that a few predict could be unleashed next year when all 25 EU countries are obliged to open their labour markets fully to Bulgarians and Romanians who joined the union in 2007. This has to do with the country’s Eurosceptic mood, its experience of a big increase in immigration from Poland and other Eastern European countries in 2004—and general ill will towards immigration.
Yet Britain is not the only EU country with these concerns. German cities are on high alert due to the increased numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians migrants. “The social balance and social peace is extremely endangered,” says a recent internal paper of the German Association of Cities, according to Der Spiegel, a German weekly. They are especially worried about so-called poverty migration and the influx of Roma as “they often end up living in desolate conditions in houses only fit for demolition”, the document says.
A quick glance at World Bank data on per person GDP shows the potential problem. In Germany it is $44,606, and in the UK it is $39,036. By contrast, in Romania the figure is $7,158 and in Bulgaria it is $7,158. These ratios of per person GDP in the receiving countries to the sending countries in Europe are very comparable to the US/Mexico comparison, which is $48,112 to $10,047. Indeed, you can see that the average person in Mexico is better off than the average person in either Bulgaria or Romania.


  1. Nice informative post dear. some useful stuff about Top Immigration Issues to share

  2. You are right It is really good news now they are addressing the issues which are regarding to the immigration reforms. Thanks for the sharing. Now days i am quite busy in the process of skilled immigration . When I will free then I will read your more blog posts.