Immigration has become a Controversial Topic

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The basic meaning of migration is to move from one place to another place. It could be a permanent movement as for example when a family moves permanently from Europe (or another country) to the United States (or another country) to begin a new life.

Seasonal Migration

It could also be a seasonal migration. Sometimes agricultural workers move for part of the year to pick crops or graze their herds.

Have you ever worked as an agricultural labourer or a farmer?

Have you ever had a seasonal job?


Look at these nouns:


“Migration” is a general term which describes the movement of people, or animals from one place to another.

Immigration and Emigration

Immigration and Emigration are more specific. Immigration describes the movement of people from one country INTO another country. Emigration describes the movement of people FROM one country to another country or countries.


People who immigrate are called immigrants. People who emigrate are called emigrants.

The History of Migration

Throughout history there have been many periods when migration changed the composition of human population. After the agricultural problems (potato famine) in Ireland, many Irish people emigrated from Ireland to the United States and became a part of that country’s population.
Listen to a recording of a guy with an Irish accent.

Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States are largely immigrant countries. That means their people originated in another country. Over time thousands of people have migrated from Asia and Europe to these new immigrant societies. Look at these categories:


Migrants – There are two types of migrants.
Immigrants – Immigrants are migrants who are arriving.
Emigrants – Emigrants are migrants who are leaving.


Migration – Migration is always an option for people in war-torn areas.
Immigration – The level of immigration to Europe has increased.
Emigration – Emigration from Ireland has been high for a long time.

The Department of Customs and Immigration

When you arrive at the airport in a foreign country, you go through Immigration first so you can have your passport checked. Then you go through Customs so you can have your bags checked. Then you enter the Arrivals Lounge of the Airport.

Listen to Hiromi go through Customs and Immigration

Hiromi at Immigration – Conversation
Hiromi at Customs – Conversation

Migratory birds

In the globalised world, the level of migration is high, but birds are also migratory. Many birds fly south for the Winter. They migrate to the other side of the world to escape the freezing temperatures of Eurasia.

After the cold period in the northern hemisphere has ended, the birds fly back.

This is quite miraculous when you think about it. Birds are amazing creatures.
Listen to a Song which mentions a bird.

Word Family

Now let’s look at the word family in these collocations:

Migratory birds (adjective plus noun)

Migrant workers (compound noun)

Illegal Immigrants (adjective plus noun)

Irish emigrants (adjective plus noun)

I want to migrate to Canada. (verb)

Refugees and Economic Migrants

In recent times the internet has connected people more immediately than ever before and there is a large flow of people between countries. Many people travel from country to escape war and to find a better life.

Political Refugees

Some people are political refugees. They are people who are migrating to escape persecution in their country.

Economic Migrants

Some people are economic migrants. They are migrating to find a better economic situation.

The line between the two groups has been blurred by war and access to large amounts of conflicting information.

Are you a refugee?
Are you a migrant?
Were your parents migrants?
Do you have an immigrant story that you can tell us?

Tell us about your situation in the comments section below this page.


The Story of America

Vocabulary – History and Geography
Understanding Grammar
Vocabulary – A Field is an Area
Vocabulary – A Mountain Range is an Incredible Thing

Vocabulary – Politics and Economics


Hiromi’s Trip to Thailand

A Helicopter, a Boat or an Aeroplane

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