Immigration and Emigration

Emigration and Immigration are two English words that have confused learners of the language for quite a while. The fact that they look nearly the same and equally sound alike makes many people to wrongly use them interchangeably in speech and writing. But they mean two different things. However, something of note here is that both are a phenomenon caused by the same things.

Immigration comes from the Latin word immigrare that means ‘go into’ while emigration comes from the Latin word emigrare which means to move. Therefore Immigration is the movement of an individual from his/her own country to go live in another country permanently. This is viewed from the point of arrival. Emigration on the other hand, is the leaving of one’s country to go live in another permanently, viewed from the point of departure. In summary, EMIGRATION is to exit one’s current homeland, IMMIGRATION is coming into another country.

As mentioned earlier both phenomena are more or less caused by the same things. The things that make people immigrate or emigrate range from wars, political factors, and natural calamities and so on. As is the case currently with Syrians who are seeking refuge in other countries, theirs is a classic example of immigration, leaving their hostile environment for a better one outside their homeland. After Edward Snowden leaked information to the public he ran to Russia to seek asylum, from the Russian point of view that is an example of emigration, coming from the outside in. America in itself is an example of Immigration. It is made up of people who came from all other parts of the world who were looking for a new home.

Both Immigration and Emigration, although different in meanings, can be used to express the same movement, but this is dependent only on the point of view of the party or individual expressing themselves.

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