April 3, 2012
Immigration backlash is on the rise in Europe
USA Today -- April 1, 2014
Berlin -- Parties backing crackdowns on immigration are ascending to new heights in Britain, France, Austria and elsewhere in Europe by tapping into worries that the open-borders policies of the European Union are diminishing local culture and costing jobs.
Backers of immigration that include the business community say the fears are irrational but supporters of stricter limits on immigration say the EU has gone too far and need to be reined in.
Swiss voters in February approved a measure that tightens immigration quotas despite threats of penalties by the EU, though the vote was close. France's anti-EU National Front party, which supports limits on immigration, won control of up to 15 municipalities in elections Sunday, more than tripling its previous high of four municipalities in the 1990s
Anti-immigration candidates are predicted to make a strong showing in EU parliamentary elections in May.
Leaders throughout Europe say people are increasingly pessimistic about the bedrock EU principle of open borders, which allows citizens of EU member states to work and receive social benefits anywhere they choose. Anti-immigration activists say governments know this, and are loath to allow referendums that expose the divide between elites and the citizenry on the question of EU migrant policies....