Immigrant or Expat, Racist Terms?


The following article is particularly relevant given the UK voted to leave the EU, to among other things, clamp down on who can live here alongside us and who can’t. Some will scream racism, others not…

If we’re lucky, we’re born, live and die in one country. Others like myself moved to another for a long while as a child immigrant before returning to my homeland. We became Expats or Immigrants while retaining our original nationality. Others are still classed as immigrants by the locals even though they have opted to become a citizen of their new homeland.

Many people don’t have the luxury of determining where they want live, especially those driven from their countries by war, becoming stateless, not wanted by any country. Now click on the highlighted link above to read one man’s view on the subject…


10 thoughts on “Immigrant or Expat, Racist Terms?

  1. It is an interesting article, and yes expat does sound so white and middle class. We used to describe ourselves as economic migrants, ie we migrated to a country with a lower cost of living (rather than migrating for work or benefits).

    I think in England, immigrant does have rascist overtones because of the waves of migration that we’ve seen. In my home area, first the Irish, and then Pakistanis, maybe a few Indians. In other cities, Caribbean people. Again in my home town, the Irish and Pakistanis were poor and lived in the worst parts of town. The Irish moved out when they had become more established and the Pakistanis took their place at the bottom of the social and economic ladder, in housing, jobs and public perception.

    My partner always said he emigrated to Australia. Got his residency and would have become a full blown Aussie had he not met me. His citizenship had already been approved. Definitely an immigrant. Emigrating doesn’t carry the same stigma though does it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A former colleague of mine, an American, recently became a Canadian citizen after living in Canada for many years as an expatriate. That changed him to an immigrant, I suppose. Here that word doesn’t seem to have the nuances Derek mentions. The thing is, some Americans would call someone like that an “ex-patriot.” A misnomer, I hope, but you never know…

    Liked by 1 person

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