EU Referendum has picked this up about the latest immigration scam:
Although the British government has promised to crack down on immigration, it can do nothing about members of the European Union coming to settle here. We have welcomed many French and Germans and Scandinavians who have found well-paid jobs in the city of London. But therein lies the rub. The UK could have given passports to 2.25 million Hong Kong Chinese or several billion Indians on the basis that they were former members of the British Empire, but in order not to be tarred with the racist brush, in excluding these it also excluded many Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and Rhodesians who had ethnic ties here. Not every country has the same sensitivities.
At the heart of this scam, which is making a complete mockery of our immigration policy – more so than it already has – are two countries, Romania and Bulgaria. They are handing out passports to ethnically linked groups or minorities outside their borders. The President of Romania has thanked 2 million Romanians now living in Britain for sparing the bankrupt Romanian benefits system and actually sending wages home to impoverish the British and help the Romanian economy. Now Hungary plans to do the same, as of January.
The main beneficiaries are citizens of Moldova, Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine and Turkey - about 4.7 million people with living standards at a fraction of the EU average. All are eligible for EU citizenship under passport giveaway programs.
Spain enacted legislation in January 2009 giving even the grandchildren of Spaniards whose ancestors left due to political or economic hardship caused by the Civil War the right to obtain passports from Madrid - and the response has been huge.
Spanish foreign ministry figures from January indicate that over the first full year of the law, there were 161,463 applications - 95 percent from Latin American countries. So far, 81,715 have been granted. Total Latin American numbers are unavailable - but the Spanish foreign ministry has extended the window for applications by another year to December 2011, due to what it calls "overwhelming demand." In Cuba alone, nearly 82,000 people have applied for Spanish citizenship and 36,415 have received it as of 30 June, clearing the way for the lengthy and expensive process of obtaining permission to travel abroad - or leave permanently. Venezuela's Spanish consulate has handed out more than 35,000 passports so far this year. The number of Mexicans who could qualify is unknown, but 150,000 are estimated to be eligible. Of those, more than 14,000 people have been given Spanish citizenship and huge lines of passport-seekers form every day.
Then there are more than 2.6 million people of Italian origin - most of them also in Latin America – who already hold Italian passports. And, like Spain, Portugal grants passports to children and grandchildren of emigrés - most of them in sprawling Brazil, home to 200 million people.
Getting an EU passport and access to its generous benefits system is like winning the lottery. There must be a stop or there will be riots in the streets.