Romanians, Bulgarians and Jesus
It is not clear how many Romulans and Vulgarians have landed. Early indications suggest that they are few in number and indistinguishable from the indigenous species. Some reports suggest that there may be more to come and may be readily identified by their black hair, pointed ears, up-swept eyebrows and (if you pierce them) copper-based blue blood. A few of them have been seen to possess a V-shaped ridge above the bridge of the nose, which might make assimilation and job hunting a little difficult.
Bulgarian and Romanian citizens are now free to live and work in the UK after controls in place since 2007 expired. We humble and common folk can do absolutely nothing about this: our political masters have unanimously decreed that it must be so, and there is no mechanism for changing the policy. Talk of revolution is unseemly; thoughts of Ukip winning a general election are absurd. So, get over it. They are here, or they are coming.
And they are people.
Amidst all the unpleasant rhetoric, one sometimes feels that Romanians and Bulgarians are vile, sub-human creatures, devoid of feelings, decency and morality. You may loathe the self-promoting Home Affairs Select Committee Chairman Keith Vaz, but his decision to spend New Year's Day greeting passengers on the first flight from Romania was courteous, compassionate and benevolent. It is how human beings ought to treat other human beings.
It is the sort of love that Christians might show those foreigners who have chosen to dwell among us, for they do so perfectly legally.
It may be "irresponsible to open the door unconditionally", but it is open. You may wish it were otherwise, but it is not. You can pretend that it is, and scoff and scorn at the flood of thieves, tramps and benefit scroungers, or you can meet one or two, talk to them, and discover their hopes and dreams. For they live with bread, like you; feel want, taste grief, and need friends.
They are equal to us: they have the same human rights, and are worthy of dignity and respect. You may disagree that such migrants are essential to economic recovery, but they are here nonetheless. You may object to them having access to higher wages and tax credits, but they are here. You can argue about national sovereignty or the ethics of immigration and cultural identity. But they are here. You can moan about overcrowded schools, the inability to get a doctor's appointment or see a dentist. But they are here. To be embittered about their presence is self-destructive and futile, for they are here. To spit at them or despise them is a profoundly un-Christian discrimination, for Jesus loves them and they are our neighbour.
So, as they try to live among us and scratch out a living from a cold bedsit, treat them as you would your friends: be kind, courteous and considerate. For they have come here to seek a better life for themselves. You may wish it were otherwise, but EU accession has manifestly done nothing for them in their own impoverished towns and jobless villages, and so they are here among us. And you and your neighbour are equal partners within a universe which has its origin and end in God. To love them is the highest good; to disdain them a tyranny. Their welfare and liberty, or their misery and enslavement, are in your hands. Do not view them as objects of corruption or parasitical need, for they are your fellow man, and to withhold your neighbour-love is to deny their value and significance and negate your love for God. They are in a foreign land, but so are you, for our citizenship is in heaven.