Migrants, immigrants or emigrants

18th December- International Migrants Day

How do you say? Migrants, emigrants or immigrants.

We are in a society in constant evolution, and language is no exception. In recent months we have observed a trend, initiated in the anglo-aaxon media and which has also been welcomed in a global way consisting of the substitute of the term immigrant by migrant, understanding that the first word has a certain nuance pejorative.

Arturo Perez Reverte, academician of the language, has clarified that the term migrant refers to any person who it in a transit situation, having left his home, place or country of origin to settle in another place.

From the perspective of the country or original place, these people will be emigrants, as they are, from the point of view of the Spanish State, all those people, who having born in Spain, have left our country.

From the perspective of the country or place of welcome, these people will be immigrants, as are all those who not being Spanish of origin, have come to our country to establish themselves with vocation or intention of permanence. On the contrary, if they are simply in a transit situation in our country, because their intention is to establish themselves in another state, the word “migrant” refers to that reality.

What happens from a legal perspective?

From a legal perspective, circumstances do not change much. Our legal system uses the term emigrants or emigration for those citizens of Spanish nationality who, having lived in Spain, reside in another country.

Legislation and legal operators speak indistinctly of foreigners and immigrants.

Expressions as foreigner in a regular or irregular situation, or an immigrant in a regular or irregular situation, are used indistinctly. A lawyer or law firm that provides advising services to people who intend to settle in Spain in a legal way, is properly an expert in legal immigration. The anglo-saxon countries use the expression immigration adviser, although in Spain it has dominated the term “extranjería”, expert in “extranjería”, or lawyer of “extranjería”.

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