The big news on immigration this week was a Swiss vote to curb migration:
The vote was immediately denounced by the EU and some member countries, and could threaten Switzerland's relationship with the EU. Although Switzerland is not a member of the EU, the country has signed onto various treaties related to trade and the free movement of labor, that will be impacted by the new law. However, this vote needs to be put in a broader context. In the past, the focus of most EU member states was on controlling immigrants from outside of the EU. The boatloads of refugees landing on the Italian island of Lampedusa was a symbol of illegal immigration and refugee flows that were a growing concern. However, there has also been a growing concern about immigration from other EU member states, particular those with lower incomes and welfare benefits.
EU migration: David Cameron says his welfare changes 'send a message' to Romania and Bulgaria. Is that enough?
More recently Cameron has modified his tone as an immigration bill works its way through Parliament:
EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor has also been critical of Cameron:
One of the ironies of the current situation is that the unease of foreigners is not limited to Bulgarians and Romanians:Britain's Immigration Minister resigned after revealing that his housekeeper was an undocumented immigrant.