General Article An expat is an immigrant. Here’s why.

Topic Selected: Expat or Immigrant? Book Volume: 429

By Alexander Black

My story

When I was still a teenager, I accepted a job working in Mallorca, a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea. At the time I had no idea that there was such a large British community living there. In addition to this, I was shocked that many of them did not speak a word of Spanish despite sometimes residing 20 years on the island. But there was something else that made me feel deeply uncomfortable – the way they talked about immigrants.

Immigrants were largely a hot topic of conversation amongst Brits in Spain, especially since the Brexit referendum was fast approaching. ‘We need to leave the European Union because immigrants are ruining our country, they don’t respect our culture’. This was a very common stance. When asked about my views, I would simply tell people that as an immigrant I didn’t feel like I was in a position to deny anyone the right to live and work in my own country. Just as I was not denied the right to live in Spain. But to my surprise,...

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