A grocery store in Crawley caters to immigrants from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Lauren Frayer/NPR hide caption
toggle caption Lauren Frayer/NPR
Stepping off the train in Crawley, 30 miles south of London, you hear less English and more Romanian, Estonian, Portuguese and Polish.
Crawley is an affordable place to live, if less scenic than some other English towns. Other than a medieval church and old stagecoach inn, most of Crawley was built after World War II, to house people displaced by bombing in London. More recently, many immigrants have settled here and work at Gatwick Airport nearby.
Brexit has many of them worried. It’s still unclear how many people from the European Union will be allowed to stay.
More than a dozen foreigners NPR approached in the town center were scared to speak on tape. In the days after the Brexit vote, there were attacks on immigrants elsewhere in the U.K. But one couple, immigrants from Portugal, spoke up.
“I heard some stories about Manchester, [where] they treat the immigrants badly,” says Lino Silva, strolling with his family near Crawley’s town green. “But here? I think there are more immigrants