I think the UK seems to be developing an attitude toward immigration that is more closely mirroring that of the US then ever before. I am of the opinion that the US attitude is more pragmatic than paradoxical. Massive immigration brings with it massive problems as well as benefits.
Those problems are quite real. As an example you can look at the prison system here in the US. Although the number of illegals is not really known; it is safe to say that it is less that 5% of the total population. But, for the sake of argument, let us set that number at 10%. In the US federal prison system this 10% of the country’s population accounts for 27% of the prison population. The percentage rises to over 50% in some state and local institutions. That is a REAL problem.
People who work but pay no taxes (we don’t have a VAT here so we must rely on income tax revenues) and then receive medical, housing and educational benefits put a real strain on the system. People who come here and have a child who is a US citizen (the classic “anchor baby”) can live here on welfare (benefits you would call it) and not work at all. This is another REAL problem.
The worst problems however come about due to the clash of cultures.
Contrary to the current trend in political doctrine; multiculturalism does not work. One by one the European leaders who were the strongest proponents of the concept have been forced to admit that it fails miserably. The concept of multiculturalism presupposes that all cultures have relatively equal value and value systems. Obviously this is not the case. It is so far from being fact that it flies in the face of logic to assume that a blending of radically disparate societies can possibly come about without creating what could be termed a “lowest common denominator” culture.
Lowest common denominator works in maths; it does NOT work with social values. It cannot work with societies.