Open the news and you will find one topic: immigration. It’s an issue that nobody can stop talking about, and the amount of misinformation surrounding it is absurd. Trying to read about immigration can make you actually know less about it, depending on where you get your news from.
The people that write stories about it rarely manage to even use the correct words. Many confuse migration vs immigration in their reporting, even though the words mean two different things. They carry different connotations, using one instead of the other can misrepresent a story.
Media members aren’t the only ones guilty of misusing the terms. Average people use the term ‘immigration‘ when they actually mean ‘migration,’ which only derails a conversation. To communicate with people about important issues, you must know how to talk about those issues in the first place.
The more that people talk about immigration and migration correctly, the more progress we can make in the overall issue. And to be a part of the solution and learn the difference between migration and immigration, keep reading below!
Table of Contents
Migration Vs Immigration: The Actual Definitions
Immigration isn’t a synonym for migration; the two words shouldn’t be used interchangeably. One of them specifically describes people or animals moving to a place, either because it offers more job or feeding opportunities. The other is used to describe a movement away from a place, usually because of danger in it.
Migration means that people or animals are moving away from a place. Immigration is specifically used when people or animals are moving towards somewhere. One word denotes a sense of intention and a goal in mind; the other describes a kind of wandering listlessness.
And when it comes to matters of biology and the way species migrate, it can be acceptable to use the words interchangeably. But when it comes to the lives of people, words matter. It’s vital that people use the correct terms when discussing immigrants, or nobody can make progress in solving immigration-related issues.
Migration Can Mean Many Things — Not Just Political Turmoil
People can migrate from a place for several reasons, and not all of them need to be due to danger. While it’s common for people in the modern world to migrate away from home due to wars or gang violence, those aren’t the only reasons someone would have to leave. Instead, home may simply change.
People may no longer see themselves in their countries, or they may be outpriced out of their neighborhoods. Their friends may simply leave home, and they may feel alone in the place they once called home. When this opens, they may migrate away to find somewhere new.
Migration doesn’t denote any kind of intention or a specific goal to get somewhere. Instead, it’s the exact opposite. Migrants simply want to avoid the place they come from.
Immigration Isn’t Always Accepted With Open Arms
Immigration is unlike migration in that it denotes a specific goal in mind. Immigrants leave home to go somewhere specific, and they can leave home for several reasons. They may leave home to go somewhere that has more opportunities.
They may also leave home to be with family or to go and pursue an education. When someone immigrants to somewhere else, they’re not doing it because they can’t be home anymore. They usually want something special and specific from the place they’re going.
That doesn’t mean they want to take something from the place they’re going, though. Immigrants are on a journey to secure something better for themselves. It’s a natural part of being alive to want something better, and immigrants shouldn’t be punished for it.
Make Sure You Meet Immigration Requirements
Before immigrating somewhere, it’s vital that you check if you’re eligible to enter the country. People who try to enter a country without meeting the requirements for it can be arrested, fined, deported, or even killed. As they make their way through the immigration system, they may lose their lives.
And if you do end up in the immigration system, it’s important to have people who will work to get you out of it. Before you leave, plan ahead and make sure they meet immigration bond requirements, too. They may need to pay for an immigration bond and do it quickly to get you out of the system.
Immigration requirements usually focus on one’s reason for entering the country. There are several different kinds of visas in the US you can get, each with their own purposes. Some are used when you enter the country for family, while others are used for work, education, and many other things.
Prepare any documents you may need before leaving home, and make sure to reach out to embassy officials before heading out. To successfully immigrate anywhere, you need to prepare beforehand.
Migrants Aren’t Alone — People Are Here to Help
Migration can feel isolating, lonely, and desperate. Migrants are people without a home or a place to go; they can feel lost in a world that can seem like it’s trying to hurt them. Leaving home can feel like running away into something worse.
It’s vital to understand that you’re not alone if you’re migrating somewhere. Instead, you’re part of a global community where you can find support almost anywhere. There are lawyers and support groups throughout the world that are eager to help migrants find somewhere new to call home.
Migrants aren’t alone, and as long as you keep moving forward you will find somewhere to settle down. You just need to continue believing that there is somewhere out there for you and that you will find it.
Immigration Is a Controversial and Important Issue
No matter who you are or where you’re from, you probably have an opinion on immigration. It’s the topic that’s on everybody’s minds, and everyone wants their voice to be heard on it. Yet, few can actually talk about it without knowing the difference between migration vs immigration.
It’s a subtle difference, but the more that people confuse the words, the worse the conversation around immigration gets. People must inform themselves about the most basic elements of immigration before talking about it. And to continue informing yourself about immigration, or anything else, keep reading here!