Immigrants should not be allowed to settle in Britain unless they can speak English, according to a survey of Birmingham residents by a city MP.
The poll was conducted by Liam Byrne (Lab), MP for Hodge Hill and the Government's Immigration Minister.
It also found that 19 out of 20 people believed there should be "strict limits" on immigration from Romania and Bulgaria, which are set to join the European Union.
Mr Byrne said the survey demonstrated widespread support for the Government's immigration proposals, which include making visitors from overseas carry ID cards.
Every non-EU national will need them to work or to access public services from 2008.
But it also demonstrated scepticism about immigration at a time when the number of people entering the country is running at record levels.
Official figures have shown; n Immigration is adding 500 people a day to the British population n Last year 1,000 people left Britain every day, including foreigners returning home, while 1,500 arrived n Net immigration is now the highest in the country's history, but there are also record numbers of British citizens leaving Mr Byrne warned in a leaked Cabinet memo recently that Britain should be braced for a surge in crime when Romania and Bulgaria join the EU next year.
The document, written jointly with Europe Minister Geoff Hoon, warned Tony Blair and Home Secretary John Reid that Eastern European gangs could be responsible for increases in vice, cash-point theft and fraud. It concluded that between 80 and 85 per cent of crime at cash machines can already be attributed to organised
Romanian groups. Mr Byrne's survey of residents in his Hodge Hill constituency found eight out of ten believed there should be an English test for anyone who wants to settle in the UK.
But eight out of ten also believed only foreigners should have to carry identity cards immediately, while two out of ten believed they should be issued to everyone.
From 2010, any British subject applying for a passport will need to register for an identity card at the same time.
In principle they will remain voluntary and new legislation would be required to make them compulsory. Mr Byrne said: "The overwhelming support for these plans shows just what common sense it is.
"Identity cards will help us police illegal immigration making it easier to vet people before they come - and check people's right to work or study once they're here." More than
4.3 million people born abroad were living in Britain at the time of the 2001 census, an increase of one million compared with 1991 and two million higher than 30 years ago.
The Government is to impose a package of quotas and fines to curb arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria when they join the EU in January.
The number of low-skilled workers from the two states who will be allowed to work in Britain will be 19,750, and they will only be employed in the food processing and agricultural sectors. However, an unpredictable number will be free to travel to work here if they are self-employed.
Other immigrants to be admitted, after Bulgaria and Romania join the EU in January, will be those who qualify for the highly skilled migrant programme. This is currently just under 100 a year from both states.