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Foreigners in Poland: migrants, immigrants and expats


Harry
20 May 2015 #1
Rather than discussing this in a thread about the diet of expats, I though this would better be discussed in a separate thread (if there's already one about this point, perhaps a mod could merge the two; if this isn't the right forum, perhaps a mod could move it).

What then in your view is the difference between a migrant and immigrant?

Migrants are not subject to immigration control; immigrants are subject to immigration control.

EXPAT: An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of their citizenship.

I really don't agree with that definition. If it is accurate (and presumably you think it is, as you offer it to us), you would be an expat. But would you really call yourself an expat? I wouldn't. And if is accurate, I am also an expat, but I wouldn't dream of calling myself that anymore. I was one once, but then I realised that I'd prefer this country over my former job, so I became an immigrant instead. Now I'm not subject to immigration control, I'm a migrant. Expats leave their country to perform a specific job and once that job is done they leave the country.

Mirgants are mainly viewed in terms of itinerant Mexican fruit and vegetable pickers.

That will depend on whether you are using the word 'Mexican' to refer to Mexican citizens or Hispanic US citizens. Mexican citizens are subject to immigration control and so would be immigrants, just as you are subject to immigration control here and thus are an immigrant; Hispanic US citizens are not subject to immigration control and so would be migrants, just as I am not subject to immigration control here and thus am a migrant (although a decade and a bit ago I was an immigrant too).
Atch 16 | 3,321
20 May 2015 #2
The problem with words is that they have can have many perceived meanings, other than the literal. People interpret them differently. There's no doubt that some people are offended at being referred to as expat in a country where they have settled permanently. It implies to them that they are perceived as opportunists or usurpers, who don't really belong. In their own eyes, they now live in their adopted country and their adopted country is as dear to them as an adopted child would be. So some people are defintely hurt by being referred to as expats.
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 488
20 May 2015 #3
migrant- either immigrant or emigrant or a member of internal migration (i.e. within the same country).
expat = emigrant (like: British expat living in PL= emigrant from Britain living in Poland).

it certainly doesn't sound that hard, does it?
OP Harry
20 May 2015 #4
migrant- either immigrant or emigrant or a member of internal migration (i.e. within the same country).

No: migrants are not subject to immigration controls; immigrants are not subject to immigration controls; in some places emigrants are subject to exit controls.

expat = emigrant

No: expats go to work in a specific job and leave their home country as a side effect of having that job; they are interested first and foremost in their job. Emigrants leave their home country because they want to live in another country; they are interested primarily in their country of residence.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
20 May 2015 #5
Then where does the émigré fit into this picture? We talk about the Polish émigré government, émigré organisations and émigrés who stayed abroad not to forsake their Polishness but to keep the true spirit of free Poland alive. When Poland dumped communism some of them were too old and infirm to return. Are they classed as immigrants or migrants or what? Does it make any difference to the defonition whether they took on a new citizenship, retained only their Polish one or had dual or treble?
OP Harry
20 May 2015 #6
Then where does the émigré fit into this picture?

emigre / emigree = emigrant, person who wanted to leave a particular country.

Are they classed as immigrants or migrants or what?

In the USA they would be immigrants, in the UK they would be migrants (now).

Does it make any difference to the defonition whether they took on a new citizenship, retained only their Polish one or had dual or treble?

If they took US citizenship, that would make them in the US foreign-born US nationals. Dual citizenship isn't always recognised in the two nations of which one is a citizen (e.g. in Poland dual US Polish citizens must always identify themselves to Polish authorities as Polish citizens).

for .....years. (Add any other requirement to qualify as an émigré).

Years don't come into it.
An immigrant is an emigre viewed the other way round. For example, you are an emigre because you have decided to live outside the USA, you are an immigrant because you have come to live in Poland and are subject to immigration control.

A migrant is simply an immigrant who isn't subject to immigration control. Both choose to leave the place they are from in order to live in another place.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
23 May 2015 #7
So it's essentially EU membership that makes the difference?
OP Harry
23 May 2015 #8
It isn't limited to only that, for example a Puerto Rican in New York is also a migrant (while a Pole there would be an immigrant).
Bieganski 17 | 896
24 May 2015 #9
You're wrong.

Puerto Rico is a US territory and people born and bred there are free to come and go and work on the US mainland without any restrictions (and vice versa). Puerto Ricans can even obtain a US passport if they want. So a Puerto Rican in New York is as much of a migrant as their next door neighbors are who were born and raised in places like Massachusetts, Ohio, Hawaii or even Guam. In other words they are not migrants since there are no restrictions placed on where they want to live and work in areas controlled by US jurisdiction.

And a Pole would not be classified as an immigrant unless they were actually going through the immigration process to obtain US citizenship.
OP Harry
24 May 2015 #10
Puerto Rico is a US territory and people born and bred there are free to come and go and work on the US mainland without any restrictions

Yes, that's why a Puerto Rican who moves to live in New York is a migrant and not an immigrant: he is not subject to immigration control, just as I am a migrant in Poland, not am immigrant.

And a Pole would not be classified as an immigrant unless they were actually going through the immigration process to obtain US citizenship.

No, a Pole who moves to live in New York is an immigrant, just as Polonius is an immigrant in Warsaw and you would be too if you lived here.
Bieganski 17 | 896
24 May 2015 #11
Yes, that's why a Puerto Rican who moves to live in New York is a migrant and not an immigrant: he is not subject to immigration control,

Puerto Ricans are US citizens. They are not migrants. They simply change their residency if they move to another area under US jurisdiction.

Next you'll be claiming there are Scottish migrants living in England and Wales and Silesian migrants living in Pomorskie and Mazowieckie.

just as I am a migrant in Poland, not am immigrant.

Yes, you are definitely akin to those economic migrants who move from places in the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere. Their presence is tolerated in the host country but their loyalty is not to the land currently under their feet. And they would leave in a heartbeat if economic opportunities withered away or worse they faced having to defend another country which is not their native or spiritual homeland.

No, a Pole who moves to live in New York is an immigrant

Polish citizens may live overseas just for school, a work assignment or holiday. That doesn't make them an immigrant unless they desire and are granted the right to stay permanently and, more importantly, obtain full citizenship of a foreign country.

just as Polonius is an immigrant in Warsaw and you would be too if you lived here.

Warsaw is not a city-state and Poles returning to Poland are not immigrants.
OP Harry
24 May 2015 #12
They simply change their residency if they move to another area under US jurisdiction.

That exactly what migrants do, they change their place of residence.
If you think otherwise, you need to write to the Library of Congress and tell them they're wrong:
loc.gov/collection/todd-and-sonkin-migrant-workers-from-1940-to-1941/articles-and-essays/the-migrant-experience

Polish citizens may live overseas just for school, a work assignment or holiday.

If they lived outside Poland due to a work assignment, they'd be a expat.

Poles returning to Poland are not immigrants.

Yes, but neither you nor Polonius are Poles, which is why you are subject to immigration control when entering Poland.
Bieganski 17 | 896
24 May 2015 #13
That exactly what migrants do, they change their place of residence.

Migrants move around and this is transient and limited. They also do not enjoy the same rights to work and representation as citizens do. But this is OK with most migrants because they are only there for a limited time to do menial, lower paying jobs which the native population prefers not to do since there are better opportunities to be had which admitted migrants like yourself would be restricted and unqualified from doing anyway.

If they lived outside Poland due to a work assignment, they'd be a expat.

Yes, and this is something completely different from being in the category of a migrant or immigrant. I'm glad to see you are finally coming around and following the thread.

Yes, but neither you nor Polonius are Poles, which is why you are subject to immigration control when entering Poland.

As an admitted migrant to Poland you don't get define who is and who isn't a Pole. The Polish government does. Indeed, if returning Poles from abroad would be subject to immigration controls as you claim then why as I previously pointed out in another thread did the Polish government recently offer consular services to evacuate and resettle Poles residing for decades in now war-torn Ukraine? Face it, the Polish government doesn't regard the Polish diaspora as being a bunch of foreigners like yourself.


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