Immigration Tension Leads to Crimes against Poles in the UK

Recent news out of the UK truly saddens me. Immigration issues in the United Kingdom are becoming ugly. Hate crimes against Poles are on the rise in the UK. In 2013, 585 people were arrested for hate crimes against Poles, according If you read further, the issue arises, like in the United States, from immigration. According to the Guardian ( at least a half million Poles have moved to the UK since 2004, when Poland joined the European Union. Add in a tougher economy, fewer jobs for more people and or the sense that Poles are taking (“UK”) jobs, the political tension is set.

The news saddens me. First, I live in Phoenix, Arizona. As a border state, immigration issues, both legal and illegal, are a huge and sensitive issue here. The most recent tragedy in the last few days is hundreds of unaccompanied minors from Central America, who crossed the border illegally into Texas, are now being transported to Arizona, simply because Texas is inundated and cannot process the high number of children. Of course those of us living here in Arizona are like, Really? But the situation begs a realistic answer – what do you do when new immigrants flood your borders? The United States is certainly not the only country dealing with this modern reality.

Historically, the most recent immigrant class always seems to get the blame and the negative stereotype, however wrongly deserved. There are many who believe that during the 1930’s, if the United States had opened up its immigration quotas for European Jews, more could have been saved. The same fear of new immigrants taking (“American”) jobs applied then, as now.

I’m reminded of a bit of Henry’s wisdom that still rings true today. Once I asked him “Why did so many people hate the Jews?”  Now rephrase that question to “Why did so many people hate the _____?”  Consider Henry’s answer (as posted on November 7, 2013) and fill in the blanks with any nationality you choose. 

Anti-________ was very big in ______.  I don’t know why and I don’t care. I was an athlete and swam with other swimmers who were _______and had friends who were _______ Not everyone held a grudge. Athletes don’t care about such things; my friends didn’t care; we were all the same.  

I think if _______ was a rich country like America people might not care so much, because everyone has the opportunity to make it here. Paraphrasing the rest – those that don’t have, will always resent those who do.

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Tags: Poland, Polish Current Events