Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

More Britons fearful of immigration

A man in the waiting area at the Home Office Border and Immigration Agency in Croydon, London

Britons are more fearful about immigration than other nations, according to a poll of people across the US, Canada and western Europe.

Almost one in four (23%) said immigration is the most important issue facing the country, the Transatlantic Trends survey found.

The other countries, including the US (9%), Canada (5%), France (8%), Germany (9%), Italy (10%), Holland (4%) and Spain (3%), appear far less concerned.

The survey found 59% of Britons agree there are "too many" people living in the country who were not born here, also a much higher figure than the other nations.

And seven out of 10 (70%) said the Government is doing a poor job in managing immigration.

A total of 47% believe legal immigrants are a burden on social services like schools and hospitals, and 33% said legal immigrants increase crime.

About one in four (22%) said only British citizens should have access to UK schools and 25% said only British citizens should have access to healthcare.

However, the survey also shows that 77% of people agree legal immigrants are hard workers, and 43% said they are integrating well or very well into society - a higher figure than several of the other nations.

The Government says it is committed to reducing net migration from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands within the lifetime of the Parliament.

The survey, commissioned by the US German Marshall Fund and other organisations, saw at least 1,000 people from each country questioned in August, September and November last year.

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