Fading American Dream Sends Young People to China

      September 24, 2009 09:00

      The number of immigrants in the United States had dropped for the first time in 38 years, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Tuesday, chiefly because unemployment has soared in the recession. Instead, many young people worldwide including Americans are boarding planes bound for China.

      A sample survey of the American population shows the number of immigrants in the U.S. was 37.9 million in 2008, down 99,000 on-year and in sharp contrast to the yearly increase of 1 million between 2000 and 2006.

      Tough U.S. immigration policy also seems to have prompted immigrants to leave. America is cutting short-term employment programs using H-1B, H-2A, or J-1 visas. Screening of applications for green cards and citizenship has intensified, and crackdowns on illegal aliens have been stepped up.

      By contrast, China is emerging fast as the land of opportunity. About 210,000 foreign workers registered with the Chinese government in 2007, rising to 217,000 last year.

      China appeals to many American college graduates who are seeking jobs because it offers talented foreign personnel plenty of decent jobs thanks to its rapid economic growth. The government also provides housing and even financial support.

      It has opened the doors to the job market wide to foreigners. Chinese employers can get permission within 15 days of applying for a work permit for foreigners.

      In these circumstances, many talented Chinese immigrants who had worked or been educated in the U.S. are now returning to their homeland. The trend is also visible among Indians, whose home country offers similar opportunities.

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