Are you an immigrant?

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Do you live in a nation that you were not a citizen of when you moved there?

Poll Results

OptionVotes
no 58
yes 32


rob, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 00:18 (one month ago) link

come from the land of the ice & snow

Andy the Grasshopper, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 00:21 (one month ago) link

I come from the land of the ice and snow, but the answer is still no.

clemenza, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 00:21 (one month ago) link

Damn--I hope you're Canadian if you're using that.

clemenza, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 00:21 (one month ago) link

wait did I mess up and put this on ILM or something

rob, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 00:23 (one month ago) link

anyway, I've been an immigrant since I was 1 years old

rob, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 00:24 (one month ago) link

I admire immigrants, it takes a lot to drop all you know and move somewhere foreign

Plan to visit Gothenberg Sweden this summer, the port where my grandparents set sail for these shores

Andy the Grasshopper, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 00:32 (one month ago) link

Do you live in a nation that you were not a citizen of when you moved there?


Alas

And I never ever call myself an expat

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 00:33 (one month ago) link

does 'expat' imply that sometime you'll maybe return to your place of birth?

It seems to be used only by a certain type of immigrant, i.e. Brits living in Toronto or something

Andy the Grasshopper, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 00:36 (one month ago) link

Like Glaswegians moving to Sydney in the 60's are never referred to as ex-pats

Andy the Grasshopper, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 00:37 (one month ago) link

Yes

beamish13, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 00:47 (one month ago) link

Andy: I don't know if there's a real reason at root for this, but generally there's a classist and/or racist vibe to using "expat" instead of migrant / immigrant / emigrant.

Having grown up as a "resident alien" in the US (as in, that was literally the wording on the card), like gyac I would never call myself an expat.

rob, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 01:02 (one month ago) link

I have some (very sweet) California friends that moved to Amsterdam years ago, actually bought a house there but never learned more than a smattering of Dutch, one works for a big advertising firm there... that seems a lot more expat than immigrant, though it's been years

likewise my uncle's family that lived in Dubai in the 70's, had domestic staff, hung out with only other western oil people, gin & tonics on the patio.. same thing

Andy the Grasshopper, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 01:09 (one month ago) link

The Dutch government will actually reimburse you for getting to a relatively modest level of conversational proficiency in the language. I think it’s ridiculous to not learn it, particularly if you’re a native English speaker, as they’re both Germanic languages and it’s not especially difficult

beamish13, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 01:12 (one month ago) link

Yes, relocated from the UK to the US last year. Minnesota has proved most un-Coen-like so far. Also nowhere near as cold in winter as I'd been led to expect, although this could be climate change related. Vile weather in the summer though, that's what you get if you live 1000+ miles from the nearest ocean I suppose.

help me I am in hull (Matt #2), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 01:16 (one month ago) link

yes, expat is pretty racist

and yes, I'm an immigrant

fpsa, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 03:00 (one month ago) link

me too! came to the US from Lebanon in '87

Swen, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 03:07 (one month ago) link

"expat" = white, skilled aiui

and yet, i would like better poll options that distinguish between free to roam and forced to leave

A street taco cart named Des'ree (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 03:25 (one month ago) link

you're a good question asker! i was forced out due to conflict, but i thiiiink i'm happy i stayed here

Swen, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 03:47 (one month ago) link

I still live in the country of my birth but plan to leave eventually. I don't want to get old in America.

Tahuti Watches L&O:SVU Reruns Without His Ape (unperson), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 04:00 (one month ago) link

Yes, been living in rainy fascist island since '93, from Brazil.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 07:22 (one month ago) link

I might move (have an EU passport) but given everywhere in Europe seems more anti-migrant.

Also wouldn't give great odds on the EU surviving another 10 years.

That leaves Brazil and India. I'd rather go Latin America, somewhere like Montevideo, then I read about water shortages there...

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 07:55 (one month ago) link

Have been for most of my adult life, now sadly living back in England for the foreseeable

This is Dance Anthems, have some respect (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 08:08 (one month ago) link

UK resident since 1991; ILR since 1995 and although my home state and city are amongst the most progressive in the US, drive to the exurbs where my sister now lives and you’re met with white flighters and MAGA people who complain about ‘Somalians’ (sic) and resent the local tribes who have grown wealthy running the casinos they visit every week.

OTOH my/the Coens’ home suburb with a historically significant Jewish community (and eruv) just elected America’s first Somali mayor.

steely flan (suzy), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 08:22 (one month ago) link

UK resident since 1991; ILR since 1995 and although my home state and city are amongst the most progressive in the US, drive to the exurbs where my sister now lives and you’re met with white flighters and MAGA people who complain about ‘Somalians’ (sic) and resent the local tribes who have grown wealthy running the casinos they visit every week.

OTOH my/the Coens’ home suburb with a historically significant Jewish community (and eruv) just elected America’s first Somali mayor.

steely flan (suzy), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 08:22 (one month ago) link

sorry, posts getting an error message on posting but nevertheless appearing, and not realising this until after the second attempt to deal with the error!

steely flan (suzy), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 08:24 (one month ago) link

no, born in england have always lived in england, can't see myself ever leaving.

oscar bravo, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 09:06 (one month ago) link

My parents moved from Germany to Portugal when I was four. I moved to London along with a bunch of friends during the Great Eurozone Crisis. Immigration as a kid and as an adult def very different in ways I hadn't really considered.

The Dutch government will actually reimburse you for getting to a relatively modest level of conversational proficiency in the language. I think it’s ridiculous to not learn it, particularly if you’re a native English speaker, as they’re both Germanic languages and it’s not especially difficult

I do agree but will also say that in certain places like Amsterdam and Berlin it's quite difficult because EVERYONE speaks English and everyday life will default to English because locals know there's so many non-speakers that it's easier just to go with English right away, so you do have to make some proactive efforts to train the language beyond just learning it. I know that even for the British partners of Portuguese friends who moved back it's been difficult because everyone wants to try their English out on them. Def still something you should do if you're moving anywhere tho.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 11:26 (one month ago) link

and yet, i would like better poll options that distinguish between free to roam and forced to leave

― A street taco cart named Des'ree (Deflatormouse), Monday, March 4, 2024 10:25 PM (yesterday)

I thought about including more complex options, but I decided not to, mostly because I'm sure I would have left out someone's life story — e.g., when does economic necessity rise to the level of forced to leave? And also because you can only pick one option in ILX polls, and it's possible to migrate multiple times for different reasons — e.g., if you were forced to leave as a child but free to roam as an adult, what would you pick?

rob, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 14:18 (one month ago) link

the question is about where you live now, so i guess the latter?

i recognize that making options more inclusive of the gray areas is slippery, but the flattening of it all bothered me, too. very much seems like "a me problem" tho, i know you're a conscientious poster

A street taco cart named Des'ree (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 18:19 (one month ago) link

I have deep family roots in the Pacific NW, mainly Oregon. I was born here, have lived here all my life. This place is home in every conceivable sense. I have no reason to leave it. I agree with the sentiment that it takes both great courage and a measure of desperation to become an emigrant from one's home place and an immigrant in a strange land. I'm grateful I haven't needed to do so.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 18:44 (one month ago) link

I’m sorry to derail but can we talk about the ethics of moving to another country. I know some ppl that moved from the US to South Africa for a good cause but are now just sticking around for the quality of life. They are white. It bothers me every time I visit

Comfortably numbnuts (Heez), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 18:54 (one month ago) link

I’m likely to be an “expat” soon but it happens to be one of the most expensive cities in the world

Comfortably numbnuts (Heez), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 18:55 (one month ago) link

sticking around for the quality of life. They are white. It bothers me every time I visit

I'd be interested to know your view on how much of the privilege they are enjoying is due to their greater economic resources and how much is based on an automatic status conveyed by their white skin? For example, are whites in SA are still given preferential treatment over blacks by the police? Do they get the plum jobs in companies headquartered in the US or Europe? Are they aware of that privilege and attempting to subvert it?

If the holdover effects of apartheid are such that their very presence in SA is holding the country back from racial equality, then they need to open their minds to that and decide how best to counter that, including leaving.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 19:10 (one month ago) link

xps SA used to openly advertise for white people to move there

https://www.flickr.com/photos/infrogmation/11242722803

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 19:16 (one month ago) link

UK citizen. lived in australia for a year, germany for five and now the US for 10ish. becoming a US citizen this year (RIP).

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 19:26 (one month ago) link

Born American in America, still in America, will surely live out my days here -- it's sticky that way

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 19:28 (one month ago) link

(But I have lived in a bunch of different parts of America and am definitely not committed to living in the same place my whole life -- can easily imagine moving to where one of my kids live when they grow up.)

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 19:29 (one month ago) link

i recognize that making options more inclusive of the gray areas is slippery, but the flattening of it all bothered me, too. very much seems like "a me problem" tho, i know you're a conscientious poster

― A street taco cart named Des'ree (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, March 5, 2024 1:19 PM (one hour ago)

Not feeling very conscientious on ilx today, so thank you for saying that. And thank you for sharing that it bothered you. I don't think it should be dismissed as a "you problem." For one, I did wonder if the word "immigrant" was the right choice or if "migrant" might be broader/better, though that tends to be used in a pretty specific & charged way these days, so maybe not. As ever on ilx, there could also be geo-cultural differences at play here. Given my personal history, I tend not to associate "immigrant" with necessarily having made a free and conscious choice — tbc I just mean I was a very young child the first time I emigrated, not that I was compelled by force — but that might be peculiar to me.

fwiw the context for starting this thread was a (tangential) discussion on the US Supreme Court thread that made me simply curious about whether or not posters had ever migrated. It's an interesting divide imo, but you are right to point out that there are many other divisions within the category, a whole layered onion of questions of race, class, and privilege

rob, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 19:39 (one month ago) link

I did for three years in the early 90s. It was an enlightening experience.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 19:40 (one month ago) link

I’m sorry to derail but can we talk about the ethics of moving to another country.

It's perfectly ethical, as long as you're not white. That's what you're dying to hear, right?

Tahuti Watches L&O:SVU Reruns Without His Ape (unperson), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 19:45 (one month ago) link

here's a thought. how about saying something on the subject that you don't think is patently stupid?

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 19:51 (one month ago) link

...and then assigning that stupidity to someone else

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 19:52 (one month ago) link

i would enjoy a chance to live out of usa, in quite a number of places, but it will not happen. circumstances-- including family, insurance, and finances-- do not permit it.

... 2024-- there's one clear winner! (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 19:53 (one month ago) link

ughh Rob, you're a sweetheart, i wouldn't want you to worry about it esp. since nobody else seems to have taken it the way i did

For one, I did wonder if the word "immigrant" was the right choice or if "migrant" might be broader/better, though that tends to be used in a pretty specific & charged way these days, so maybe not. As ever on ilx, there could also be geo-cultural differences at play here. Given my personal history, I tend not to associate "immigrant" with necessarily having made a free and conscious choice

neither do i, all of this sounds right on the money to me.

i was also so young when i came here (persecution/conflict) that my experience is closer in some ways to American-born children of immigrants than to what my parents went through- plus they & a lot of my extended family went through it twice!

A street taco cart named Des'ree (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 20:08 (one month ago) link

Heck I’m still in the postcode I come from

cozen itt (wins), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 20:14 (one month ago) link

lol

man in suit and red tie raising his fist (Tom D.), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 20:16 (one month ago) link

It's perfectly ethical, as long as you're not white. That's what you're dying to hear, right?

― Tahuti Watches L&O:SVU Reruns Without His Ape (unperson),

You been to Cape Town?

Comfortably numbnuts (Heez), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 20:35 (one month ago) link

I’m sorry to derail but can we talk about the ethics of moving to another country. I know some ppl that moved from the US to South Africa for a good cause but are now just sticking around for the quality of life. They are white. It bothers me every time I visit

I'm genuinely curious as to why you find this bothersome. Also curious as to what "quality of life" in this context refers to.

Regarding the ethics involved, I am all for the free movement of people. I am not sure what would be unethical about moving to another country, unless it were to somehow commit sabotage in that country.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 20:43 (one month ago) link

Omg do you all know what SA is like or just randomly bullshitting?

Comfortably numbnuts (Heez), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 20:45 (one month ago) link

That's not really responsive.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 20:47 (one month ago) link

Ok sorry. Most of the black ppl live in settlements while the minority white ppl live in gated communities. Last time I was there I saw a dead person on the road who was hit by a car because you have to walk across the interstate to get to the grocery store. It’s fucked up.

I also feel this way about ppl moving to the south for tax reasons and then voting to keep taxes low while the counties around them crumble.

Comfortably numbnuts (Heez), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 20:51 (one month ago) link

I asked a few questions, if you don't mind responding to them.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 20:55 (one month ago) link

good questions! i think SA has actually been pretty good about encouraging companies to hire local staff for "plum" jobs. it's definitely more complex than how everyone read my question, and it was a genuine question about the ethics of expat life. what tends to happen in SA is that you have access to very cheap labor. you will have a live-in maid/nanny even though that would be out of the question in the states. that's a big help when you're raising kids and allows you to have a lot more freedom. it's not even really a choice. if you don't hire someone they say you're putting someone out of job. you also have access to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, let alone the wildlife. but only the rich ppl have access to those things. I know these are not bad people but the husband refuses to leave and there is absolutely no reason to be there. it's been 16 years now.

so are they actively harming anyone? no, but it's starting to feel gross.

Comfortably numbnuts (Heez), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 21:10 (one month ago) link

It can be complicated. My grandfather spent some years teaching at universities in India as a Fulbright scholar. He was more or less required to have servants, not simply because his high status position demanded those trappings, but because it gave employment to several poor people in a place where not having servants would have been viewed as selfish and mean-spirited by the local population.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 21:17 (one month ago) link

This is nowhere near as drastic as what's being discussed here re: South Africa, but Portugal has been getting a steady stream of "digital nomads" and the consequences are cost of living and housing goes up due to a population of ppl with UK/US/Germany/etc level salaries, local population gets priced out of city centres and beyond. Similar dynamics to gentrification and as with gebtrification you can say the ultimate responsibility lies with the state's unwillingness to manage these dynamics rather than with the gentrifiers themselves but yeah, fraught for sure.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 21:18 (one month ago) link

Def still something you should do if you're moving anywhere tho.

I remember to say “parking lot” nearly all the time, but Fahrenheit is impenetrable.

bae (sic), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 21:22 (one month ago) link

Simply living, even by assignment, where the failure to have “servants” is objectionable, makes you an accessory to social and political crimes.

... 2024-- there's one clear winner! (Hunt3r), Wednesday, 6 March 2024 04:16 (one month ago) link

I am an immigrant from Upper Michigan to Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, in that order. Life behind the Cheddar Curtain is tolerable due to my proximity to Lake Michigan.

underminer of twenty years of excellent contribution to this borad (dan m), Wednesday, 6 March 2024 04:58 (one month ago) link

ilx yooper alert.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Wednesday, 6 March 2024 06:15 (one month ago) link

btw with those homebases you're anything but a lions fan. lean packers imho

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Wednesday, 6 March 2024 06:20 (one month ago) link

Simply living, even by assignment, where the failure to have “servants” is objectionable, makes you an accessory to social and political crimes.

Glad to see a nuanced take on teaching university students in India in the 1950s.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Thursday, 7 March 2024 01:34 (one month ago) link

you get it, old man.

... 2024-- there's one clear winner! (Hunt3r), Thursday, 7 March 2024 02:11 (one month ago) link

i’m pretty old too, and much respect, aimless.

... 2024-- there's one clear winner! (Hunt3r), Thursday, 7 March 2024 02:13 (one month ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 18 March 2024 00:01 (one month ago) link

I'd love moving to SA at some point in my life, preferably as an active person. It's a life decision like any other, with pros and cons. If you are wondering what the social dynamics and perception of foreigners are like, maybe visit and spend some time there to get an idea, it's far from simplistic. Skin color is definitely not the sole factor. On the ethical part of the equation, I think it's a good thing to think about, there are some big questions to ask yourself and that South Africans will ask you too. Don't overthink your importance though.

Nabozo, Monday, 18 March 2024 09:33 (one month ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 19 March 2024 00:01 (four weeks ago) link

ilxors may not be the movers and shakers of this world, but it appears that quite a few are movers

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Tuesday, 19 March 2024 00:10 (four weeks ago) link

And I have the shakes

Andy the Grasshopper, Tuesday, 19 March 2024 00:18 (four weeks ago) link


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