Stockholm, Sweden—A rough-looking and obviously drunk man walked half-a-step behind a Gypsy woman on a crowded street in Stockholm, the capital of a country famous for its historical tolerance. Teetering and threatening, it wasn’t clear if he was going to strike her, as he said something in barely audible Swedish near her ear. The crowd didn’t appear inclined to help until a tourist yelled at the Swede in English, and the Gypsy used the distraction to disappear into the crowd.

“What do you think you’re doing?” the tourist, an Australian woman, said. And in something close to perfect English, the Swede argued back, “Why doesn’t she beg in her own country? What about me? I’m Swedish. I need help too. They need to go home; they shouldn’t be here.”

There has been a dramatic influx of foreigners immigrating to Sweden from...

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