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tv   Life in Immigration Town - Panorama  BBC News  March 3, 2017 3:30am-4:00am GMT

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effort to stop some of nationwide effort to stop some of the most marginalised members of society reaching the capital to press their case. it is time for panorama. tonight on panorama, how immigration is dividing britain's most diverse population. migrant labour has given it one of the uk's most successful economies. if you ta ke most successful economies. if you take them out, who is going to do the work? when i came here to make it ago the town was struggling with immigration. very angry around here. how many new arrivals could one
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place take? i am born in slough and iama place take? i am born in slough and i am a minority in this part of the world. and why are thousands of white british people abandoning the town? i am not worried about the diversity of people here. it is simply there are too many. father and son are on their way to work. these men are from seville, in spain, where almost one third of the population is unemployed. they came
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here last summer even though britain had already voted to leave europe. now they both work in slough. had already voted to leave europe. now they both work in sloughm had already voted to leave europe. now they both work in slough. it is grande, grande, grande, grande! he speaks hardly any english, but arturo can do the work. he's one of the best people i work with here. every day i work with him. this is our little bench, this is. at the printing firm, he works alongside his son. arturo junior was the first of the family to arrive in slough. the family home was about to be repossessed in spain, so he helped his 60—year—old dad to find a job in the uk. he was like reborn.
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because you have a new country, new language, new weather, new culture, new food and newjob, because that's the first time he do that kind ofjob. so, i trying to do literal translation of he was a fluffy ball of nervous. they haven't been put off by brexit. the whole family has moved to the uk for work. you can't actually get to the workforce you need if they're not going to allow people to come here. where do we end up then? you can't expand. immigration, i think, for work, is good. i don't have a problem with it. i think it's the work ethic that people bring is very, very good. i made a panorama about slough ten years ago.
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it was clear then some were unhappy about the new arrivals. they're taking everything. you go to the shop, you can't buy a kingsmill, what's it call? every bread is polish. if you heard what people were saying brexit may not have come as a surprise. they're very angry around here. you know what i mean? very angry. like people have been living here all their life, worked and paid tax and all, that they get nothing. ten years on, immigration is now "the" national issue and at the heart of the brexit negotiations. so where does that leave a town built on foreign workers? to see how immigration has changed slough since i was last year, i went to st anthony's catholic school. who was born outside of britain
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in a different country? about half of you. how many of you, your parents were born in a different country, they weren't born here in britain? that is pretty much everybody. more than half the pupils start school unable to speak much english, like this girl. what is it? orange. good, girl. it is the colour orange. and what is it? do you know what it is? a car. a carora bus. can you say that in a sentence? antonia, say, "i have got an orange bus." i have got an orange bus. good girl. by the time they leave,
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all the pupils can read and speak english fluently. immigration has doubled the number of pupils at this school since 2004, which saved it from closure. it was in a poor state of repair, because of falling rolls. there wasn't enough money to look after the classrooms, the building or surroundings. the school was in the position where it was likely to close. so you've seen this school transformed because of immigration? absolutely. it invested money into the school and it's brought a richness in many ways. 52% of the pupils are from a polish background. i've heard, you know, the polish are horrible and they're not nice. that was one of the reasons i didn't bring my children here first of all. because i heard that there was no
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english taught at all. and that everybody was polish. iwas like, oh, you know, i need my children to learn something. but i came in, looked around and it's not like that. so sometimes you can'tjust listen to word of mouth. what about you, how does the mix work? you're polish and british, how does it work? at school i speak english and at home i speak polish. so you're polish at home, british at school? poland play england at football, who do you want to win? hard to say. a draw? england play romania? england. england? jamie vardy, i think he might put two goals in. even got a scorer, that's great, well done. the children in this school speak 31 languages. across the town 150 languages are spoken. slough may look a model of integration, but even our most
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diverse town wants change, 54% voted for brexit. so has slough had enough of immigration? the only thing about brexit and immigration. (bleep), you're in the right place. why? no comment. a lot of the guys, they lose theirjobs to people that come from you know, from around europe and stuff like that. they literally do, do they think that they do that or they actually do? they actually do. why do they get the jobs? maybe they work harder, maybe they want it more, i don't know. i think it's too much immigration here. there's too many polish people and too many, i don't know, the indian people. it's hard to find, like a english person here. but you're a polish person.
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yes, iam. on the whole, do you think immigration has been good or bad for slough? absolutely good. there's no way that you can't move forward without people coming into this country. but i think you've only got so many resources to supply all the demand. so is immigration still working for slough or is it starting to harm the town? while new migrants are still arriving, some of the those who came here for a better life want out. the polish community has told us that dozens of poles have left the town since the brexit vote. konrad and his wife have been working here as carers for elderly people for more than a decade. but they no longer feel as welcome.
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i think now we think more about coming back to poland than before. why? because i've got feeling they don't want us here. my feeling, we always will be immigrants. always. you're almost not an immigrant, because you've been here all of your life? yes, i'm still an immigrant. i was born in poland. icame here. i immigrated and still people think i don't belong here. for me, farage opened the pandora box. now it'sjust worse, worse than it was before. they committed themselves to the uk and bought their own home. now they've sold it in case they need to leave quickly and they‘ re renting. that's very unsettling, though. that's why we renting the house now and not buying a new one.
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because we are not sure. before i came here, i thought immigration, moving around and you know, work is open. it's fantastic. but unfortunately, people, we always think we are the best, we are better than you. so if you look this point, immigration is wrong. immigration is wrong. immigration has helped make slough an economic success. unemployment is just i.4%, the average wage is amongst the highest in the country, £558 per week. slough is booming. ten years ago, i visited this stone masons, run by italian migrants and using polish workers. they used to come in with a rucksack, on foot.
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then we started seeing bikes come in. now they've all got nice cars. a couple are purchasing property with mortgages. hi richard. ten years. passes, doesn't it. how's life? very good. this place reflects slough‘s success. in the ten years since i was last year, the business has tripled its workforce. more business. immigrants have helped build this company, so is salve using foreign workers ahead of english because they're cheap. not at all. you can get someone of any, wherever they've come from for a cheap price. the minute they can do the job, they can go somewhere else. there's no benefit in terms of cost. salve is always looking for new staff. he's a nice bloke. he's a polish bloke. his english?
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it's good. he's a good attitude. he's a really good guy. we've got a lot of eastern european workers here. they've always been here. we can't lose them. we need them. we don't pay them any cheaper. it's because they're very good workers. they're our friends now as well. some of those friends on the shop floor say if they're not wanted in the country, they'll leave. profession, i've got 20 years experience as a stone masons sculptor, yeah, i can find job everywhere. some people don't have a choice. arturo and his family are getting used to a new life in slough. but they left spain because their business went under. when you heard about brexit, that british people had voted to come out of the european union, did you have second thoughts about moving to slough? slough attracts people
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because of the work. the town itself is then changed by the new arrivals. ten years ago, some locals were already unhappy. you can't walk down the streets now like you used to be able to. you're just frightened to walk down the street. you walk through chalvey, you can't. since then, slough has changed even more. white british people make up just 34.5% of the population. for the first time, white brits are a minority. got lots of tools and stuff up here.
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right. ann and bernie are getting ready to move away. it's the old telephones with, with the numbers they lived in this house for 35 years. but these things in there. what, this is for the bin, yeah? they've both spent nearly all their lives in slough but have decided to leave the town and moved to norfolk. i don't feel any antipathy against the people, it simply that it's not or me any more,
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so i to move on, you know? i want to move to a place that is more like what i've been used to as a youngster. what about you, how does it make you feel? quite sad. i just loved slough and everything about it. but now i can't find anything that i like about slough. ann and bernie aren't alone. in 2001, 69,000 white british people lived in slough. by 2011, that figure had dropped to a8,000. this so—called white flight is happening across the country. white people are moving to live in whiter areas. what i am against is the uncontrolled immigration, the masses of people coming into the country now. and this country has only got so much resources . there is no tipping point, as such, it's just an accumulation of things,
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you know, that made us feel we would rather be, rather go somewhere else. it builds up slowly. we've had the best of slough. you can't change slough now. if people are happy with it, i'm happy for them, but it's not for us. george, george, get in! matty... well done. work him. on a freezing pitch in the middle of slough, chalvey are fighting to stay top of the league. two straight, one's got to drop in to receive. it's not happening. chalvey is one of the most diverse parts of britain's most diverse town. new communities often settle here first. whistle.
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after the game, the team gathers at the working men's club. the members here reflect the old racial mix of slough, white, black and asian. did you score today? silly question, isn't it? slough has always been proud of the way different communities get on, but there is tension about new arrivals. immigration needs to be nipped in the bud, simple, job done. nobody‘s racist, and there's no issues, no problems, but something needs to give. there's a feeling here that public services are at breaking point.
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and some blame immigration. it's gone too far, it's notjust the work itself, it's the draining it's having on the resources in the local community. you know, schools, hospitals and things like that. the immigration goes 0k to a point, but when it overcomes the whole town, then the town starts closing down, which is what's happening in slough. when slough voted to come out of europe, what were they saying, what was the message? we're fed up of this influx of people over time. there is no housing local people. there is a housing shortage in slough but immigrants are not given preferential treatment. some think that immigration is changing slough for the worst. do you feel like the minority now in slough on how does that feel?
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not only feel like it, it's the fact that we are and it feels awful, it feels awful. i'm living in my own town. my mother was born in slough, my father was born in slough, god rest the pair of them, i'm born in slough and i'm a minority in my own little world. to me there seems to be a big parallel between you coming over and getting work and the polish people coming over and getting work, you both came here for a better life? we were asked to come here. then white people didn't want to black people in their houses. that sort of ignorance about immigration or a new people, do you think that applies now, to polish people or romanians or whoever is coming into slough? i think it does. i hear it every day on the street. i heard it on the street
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ten years ago. hello. hello, we're from the bbc. i saw straightforward prejudice, the roma community was being singled out. why are people nervous? it's not nervous. the thing is, because they doesn't want to see us. why? because you know, they think they are not the best. ten years on, people are still openly racist about the roma. some people are all right, some people are just scatty, disgusting human beings. why do you have a problem with the romanians? they are disgusting people, to be honest with you. think about it, they come to my restaurant, their dogs when it comes to food. it all seems really, you know, bad language.
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they're dogs, their nonhumans and stuff. why do say that? they a different mentality. while we're on the street, a man calls us into the barbers. what were you saying to me through the window there? i say today you came, no romanian today. the roma community is unpopular because some gather in the streets. today, you come, nobody... if i wasn't here? if you weren't here, all the people stand outside. they should go back to romania. why? because this is rude. these people which will stand up on the road all the time, they get good money. we people all the time working and pay our taxes, pay everything. but you, sir, came from another country didn't you ?
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yes, that's true. if i am rude, chuck me out. what shocked me was how widespread these attitudes were. even the local police officer seemed willing to label an entire community. the roma gypsy community, they're the only fly in the ointment. there is a perceived problem with the residents. and yes, there are some other issues as well, but a lot of it is perceived by the residents of chalvey about the big gatherings, the noise, the shouting, the kids and youths running around. then breaking the law, if they broke the law there laws you could use against them? everyone agrees that hanging around in large groups throughout the day and evening ‘s isn't normal. especially talking loud, shouting at each other, it's intimidating. and a lot of people can't understand that. there is there a perception
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of anti—social crime going on. immigration... i don't like that, that name. english people say we are immigrants. have your say. they say the roma community... hang around everywhere. that's all. the problem. they think we don't work, but we work. if we didn't work, we wouldn't have these clothes, would not have food. do you feel integrated? are you a gypsy or slough? i'm both. i love being english, i love being in england, england is a good country. if you respect me, i respect you. yeah, it's like this. treat people how you want to be treated. that's how i am.
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the local bobby thinks the roma community should behave in a more british way. integration, it doesn't seem to be high on their agenda. hopefully in time that integration will happen and the kids growing up will feel more, more british and less, less... gypsy. i mean, we want them to feel proud of their roots, but we want them to understand that they are actually in another country. across town, another slough teenager is having a revision night. arturo's son daniel only arrived from spain five months ago. how can i change it forthe better, like, because... you could say she was relieved of their duties. he will take his gcses this summer.
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right now, he's still getting to grips with english. at first i was like... me not speak london. 0k... just imagine this and i'm happy with my english right now because i say it's improving quite fast. i think england now is my home and i have to do my life here. if i think about it, it's like, it's crazy because when i was little, was dreaming about travelling to england and i actually living in england. wow, what a dream, yeah. you're in a town that said it didn't want the european union and part of that was it didn't want economic migrants, which is what you are. what you think about british people in slough, what's their attitude to immigration? what is, people don't understand what immigration means.
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it means that you can take public transport, you can go to the doctor and you can go, because people like me, i'm paying for that. maria's got a job in a pub within weeks of arriving from spain all three adults were working. what's the future, then, for this family? is this your new home, slough? is this where you go forward from or is this a temporary respite from whatever is happening back in spain? the opportunities to get future, to have a real life, to build my future here. bernie and ann's future is away from slough. it's a lovely picture, two lovely looking children. they want out even though it means leaving their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren behind. i don't know what i'd do without my children. this is what has made this move difficult. in the past, i couldn't bring myself to move away from my grandchildren.
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i am not coming back. i am going to stay, once i go up there, that's it. i'm not coming back to slough. migration has made slough. its economy is thriving. but all those new people have changed the town forever. and some think whatever the benefits of immigration, that's too high a price to pay. a very warm welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to our viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: the us attorney general says he won't resign over contact with russians during the election campaign, but will sit out any investigation.
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