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How to deal with influx of migrants from Eastern Europe
5:00am Monday 28th October 2013 in News
A CONFERENCE is to be held to debate how to deal with an expected new influx of migrants from Eastern Europe into Hampshire.
Staff from consulates and support groups will join politicians and city leaders to debate the impact of the people moving from Romania and Bulgaria after work restrictions are lifted in the new year.
The event at SOS Polonia in Terminus Terrace, in Southampton, on Thursday, November 7, will examine lessons learned from the wave of mostly Polish immigrants after 2004.
Some 25,000 people from Poland are thought to live in Hampshire.
The experience of helping Polish people in Hampshire will be unveiled by Barbra Storey who founded migrant support service SOS Polonia and who is organising the conference.
Mrs Storey, originally from Poland, said: “In two to three months Romanian migrants will come because the labour restrictions are being lifted.
“This conference will be sending a warning. A warning that if immigrants come with poor language but desperate to work, they will be targeted by those wanting to exploit them.
“All this happened with the Polish people and we saw it happen.”
SOS Polonia, a help and advice service for migrants which last month received a £230,000 lottery grant, is to set up a branch to help Romanian migrants.
Mrs Storey also said that the local authorities had to brace themselves for an increase in demand for services. She said: “Police, schools and social services could be overwhelmed if they are not prepared.
“I think it will be really difficult and we will have to cope with it. We are prepared to share some tools that we applied to help Polish people.”
Dr Roxana Carare, a leading academic at the University of Southamp-ton and honoury consul of Romania in the UK will talk about migration and politics. The immigrants’ perspective will be provided by consulate cultural advisor Dan Profir.
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