Immigrants vs Migrants
Difference between immigrants and migrants is commonly confused since both the terms, immigrants and migrants, appear similar and both talk about people moving from one place to another. The words migrant, immigrant, and immigration have become important in modern times as people moving across countries has become a common practice. Even, many countries face the problem of illegal immigration nowadays. Also, some nations grapple with the problem of weakened manpower because of lots of people migrating in search of greener pastures. In general, migration refers to the movement of people from one place to another either within a country or outside to other countries. Though there is freedom of movement granted in the constitution of most countries, it is surprising that workforce that have moved from one state to another in the same country are labeled as migrants. Why this happens will also be described in this article.
Who is a Migrant?
A migrant is a person who has gone through migration. Migration is moving from one region to another. This movement can be within a country or outside of the national borders. The people who move in such a fashion are known as migrants. Also, migration term is used when a large number of people are moving from one region to another. For example, the migration of Jews during the World War 2 is a migration.
From the point of view of a country, only those who are coming inside are called immigrants. With European Union having been formed, it is proper to call all people moving from a country in EU to another in EU as migrants and not immigrants as there is no restriction on the movement of people within EU. Similarly, some people make the mistake of calling people coming to New York from Puerto Rico as immigrants where Puerto Rico is a part of the US. As a matter of fact, there are people who have travelled to different regions of the same country looking for work. They are known as migrant workers.
Who is an Immigrant?
Immigrants are the people who come into a country from another country. Unlike migration, immigration usually takes place with an individual or a family moving from one country to another. With the population of countries increasing putting pressure on the limited resources, it is natural for nations to keep vigil on its borders to prevent entry of illegal immigrants, who are people entering the country without legal authorization. This is why every country, especially those that are facing the problem of huge influx of immigrants, has a special department of immigration that looks after the immigration procedure allowing only restricted number of people from other countries to migrate into the country.
What is the difference between Migrants and Immigrants?
• People who move from one place to another either within the national borders or crossing over into another country are called migrants.
• From the point of view of a country, people coming inside are called immigrants while those moving out are called emigrants.
• Migration can happen within a country or outside of a country. Immigration can only happen from one country to another. So, for immigration to happen you have to cross national borders.
• Immigrants usually are individuals and families. Sometimes, migration happens in large numbers. As with the migration of Jews during the World War 2.
• As migration usually happens in large numbers, when these migrants relocate themselves in a region a number of problems can arise. There can arise a problem of jobs, the native population (the ones who were already there) may feel threatened, and sometimes the local government structure can be harmed with a large number of migrants.
• As a result of immigration too, problems can arise. For example, due to illegal immigrants the country can suffer economically as well as socially. When they are illegal, they are not registered anywhere. Still, the country has to look after them. That is why there are strict immigration laws to prevent illegal immigration.
- Dutch migrants to Australia (1954) via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
- North African immigrants near the island of Sicily by Vito Manzari (CC BY 2.0)