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Global doors slam shut on immigrants

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Famile Arslan knows what it's like to feel the brusque shoulder of the state. Ms. Arslan is a Dutch lawyer whose parents moved to the Netherlands from Turkey more than 30 years ago. But not long ago authorities sent her mother an order requiring her to take a language test.

Arslan says Dutch officials only dropped the demand when she complained that her mother, a naturalized citizen, should not be treated differently from a native-born Dutch person. But the incident confirmed what she calls Europe's "trauma" over immigration. "We need immigration," she says, "but the sentiment now in the European Union is that we don't want non-Western and nonwhite immigration."

Mandatory language and integration tests for immigrants and would-be immigrants have become the rule in most European countries in the past few years. But they are only one sign of a general frustration over immigration policy across the Continent.

Mainstream politicians have joined far-right populists in calling for tighter controls of legal and illegal migrants, as well as differential treatment for foreigners and naturalized citizens already living in their countries. In just the past few months:

•Swedish voters elected an anti-immigration party to parliament for the first time.

•The French president has ignited a furor by targeting Roma, or Gypsy, illegal immigrants for expulsion.

Britain's new coalition government has put a cap on non-European immigration and most foreigners are required to have identity cards.

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