Polish immigrants in England spark dispute

LONDON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- An immigration expert in Poland says British estimates that more than half of all Polish migrants to England have returned home are incorrect.

The BBC reported Friday the Migration Policy Institute estimates more than 50 percent of the 1.5 million people who moved to the United Kingdom from European Union states since 2004 have since gone back to their country of origin. Most of the migrants were from Poland.


Immigration Minister Phil Woolas estimates fewer than 700,000 of the EU migrants remain in the United Kingdom.

Professor Krystyna Iglicka of the Center for International Affairs in Warsaw, Poland, questions Woolas' figures, saying there is no evidence to support the claims.

"From our side this is not true," Iglicka said. "We do not see them here; we do not see them in any other different countries."

Woolas said Polish nationals were lured home by improved exchange rates that allow them to earn more in their native land.

The British official also cited how Poland benefited from a European Union infrastructure investment fund as evidence of the suspected reverse migration pattern.

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