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Top British Catholic pushes back against UK politicians' fear-mongering on immigration

Cardinal-designate Archbishop Vincent Nichols, talks to   members of the media during a news conference, in central London, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. The Archbishop will be made a Cardinal by Pope Francis at the forthcoming consistory at the Vatican, in Rome on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Cardinal-designate Archbishop Vincent Nichols, talks to members of the media during a news conference, in central London, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. The Archbishop will be made a Cardinal by Pope Francis at the forthcoming consistory at the Vatican, in Rome on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)  (The Associated Press)

Britain's top Roman Catholic cleric has criticized U.K. politicians for fear-mongering on immigration issues, saying it is wrong to argue that newcomers are a drain on the economy.

Immigration, a hot-button issue in Britain, got a jolt of attention following the loosening of restrictions on migrants from Bulgaria and Romania earlier this year, a move some warned would send Eastern Europeans flooding into Britain.

The Most Rev. Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, said Britons should acknowledge immigrants' positive contribution "to our well-being and economy. "

The archbishop, who is to be made a cardinal by Pope Francis in Rome this weekend, said Tuesday that "leaders ought to appeal to something more normal and more substantial than fear."