The answer to both, of course, is no. Fact is, the hesitations are borne of concern re Roma criminality and a reluctance to bring it here. An article from 2010 in, of all places, the Guardian, expresses some of these genuine--and I would contend non-"racist"--concerns, here specifically in the context of France:
(S)ome of the fault for the problems surrounding France's Roma communities lies with the governments in Romania, Bulgaria and the other countries where the Roma are coming from. If more policies to bring the Roma into the mainstream had been enacted in these places over the past few decades, then Roma in 2010 may have been less inclined to migrate, and when they did, they may have had more to offer to the societies they migrate to. But can that failure to successfully integrate be blamed entirely on the "host" countries? I'm not sure.
75% of Europe's Roma are estimated to live below the poverty line. Discrimination – both institutional and societal – will play a meaningful part in that figure, but it's also too easy to construct a narrative where the Roma are seen solely as passive victims, and much of the recent coverage of the expulsions (and some of the EU rhetoric) has tended towards that. It may be worth asking how Roma communities can contribute to their own progress.
There's no doubt that deep-seated prejudices towards Roma need to be tackled, and at least Sarkozy's actions have pushed the issue further up the EU agenda. But Europe's Roma also need to take some of the responsibility for their own integration into the mainstream, and this may mean letting go of some historical and cultural practices.
Rightwing voices will always be able to point to the criminality and social problems that Roma communities bring – because they do. The underlying causes may be complex, but the manifestations are notI have nothing against any immigrant or refugee from any country who wants to come to Canada through legal channels in order to escape persecution, and who wants to contribute something of value to our society. I have no interest in bringing to our shores those who hate the West, despise America and "Zionists," or who are crooks, thieves, and scam-artists who know that merely by playing the Holocaust victim card they can get some lost-in-the-Holocaust Jewish "human rights" simpletons to go to bat for them.
Simple as that, really.
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