It seems, if we are to believe many in the Conservative Party, that when the immigration restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian workers are dropped on New Year's Day, that all hell will be let loose.
It is, in fact, much more likely that absolutely nothing will happen. Hundreds of Romanian beggars are not about to appear on our high streets and neither will a flood of Bulgarians fill to bursting our local job centres.
What we might expect is that there will be a significant rise in people coming into Britain from these two countries. But there is no cause for concern – despite what some alarmists may say. We should not expect the likely influx of Romanians and Bulgarians to be any bigger than similar new arrivals we have experienced over the years from any of the EU countries who have so far been afforded this same right to work here.
The increase in newcomers is likely to be seen in urban areas that are used to these patterns of immigration and it should be expected that before long these new immigrants will be successfully absorbed into the UK. The net result will be a slight extra strain on public services, balanced out by a slight but much-needed boost to Britain's economy.
And yet, if you've been listening to announcements on this subject emanating from the Home Office, you could be forgiven for thinking that our whole way of life was about to be turned on its head.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has exaggerated the so-called threat posed by Romanians and Bulgarians and by so doing, has ramped up public anxiety. It is bordering on the hysterical.
It appears that the Government is deliberately fuelling fears over immigration from Bulgarian and Romania purely and simply to attract votes.
But it is well documented that public concern over immigration has traditionally been out of step with the actual impact immigrants have. However, as a result of Mrs May's utterances, immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania are more likely to be abused and victimised when they arrive here.
That would be quite wrong – and reflects very badly indeed on some of those who govern us.