Monday, 22 October 2007

An excellent letter in today's Guardian from Jean.

The government's research highlights the valuable contribution that migrants have made to our economy recently. However, the social problems encountered in some areas point to the fact that we were woefully unprepared for their arrival. Many local authorities believed the migrants would gravitate towards already ethnically diverse regions, not settle in rural areas where they had little prior experience of integrating people from different cultures.

There has been a lack of information available in different languages about finding work and accommodation, and accessing social security, education and healthcare. It is little wonder then that many migrants have fallen prey to unscrupulous gangmasters and landlords. Given the government's tendency to think of migrants purely as economic units, we should be thankful to those authorities and organisations that have helped to ease the tensions and made the transition to life in Britain easier than it would otherwise have been.

Jean Lambert MEP Green MEP for London

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