The really wild card is the Roma question. A UN study last year found that 80% were unemployed and one in five were permanently hungry. The governments of Eastern Europe have been urged to pass laws to outlaw discrimination. It is, however, hard to say what impact this will have on the lives of the Roma and how they will perceive the alternative of migrating to Western Europe, particularly Britain. This is not a question that is amenable to mathematical calculations.
Migrationwatch, July 2003.
Roma children flood into Slough
A Berkshire town has been struggling to cope with nearly 90 children who have arrived unaccompanied from Eastern Europe. The Roma children, one as young as ten, have apparently paid someone in Romania to send them to Slough. The Borough Council does not know why it has been singled out but has been forced to set up a special team and spend £150,000 helping the children. It has called for more government help to offset the strain on other services.
Strain on services ? They're doing us a favour coming here, surely. The council should be flush with all that extra tax revenue. Don't even get me started on the diversity.
The children usually arrive in groups of three, but six have had babies of their own and seven have been pregnant. The local authority has had to set up an emergency Roma assessment team.
I wonder what that 'have been pregnant' means ? Babies, or 'terminations' ?
UPDATE - the "unaccompanied children" seem to have been arriving for some time.
Kent's director of social services Peter Gilroy warned: "If I don't get help from my local authority colleagues then I have no other course than to develop further our work with the private sector because we are reaching the point of saturation."
The council said that it currently looked after 2,000 asylum seeking children and that another 150 arrived every month. Already 400 of the older children, mainly 17- to 18-year-old boys, were being cared for in private hostel accommodation.
As well informed commenter Observer points out :
Provision of Accommodation for Children (Section 22-23, Children Act, 1989)
Local Authorities also have a duty to provide accommodation for a child in need who requires accommodation as a result of:
* no one having parental responsibility for him or her
* being lost of abandoned
* the person who has been caring for him or her being prevented from providing him with suitable accommodation and care.