Land of Leaving

Recession Sends Immigrants Packing

The recession has damaged the reputation of America as the land of opportunity as the number of foreign-born residents dropped for the first time since 1970, according to a U.S. Census survey. In 2008, about 38 million immigrants lived in the U.S., about 100,000 fewer than the year before. The fall is within the margin of error, but shows a turnaround from the big increases of earlier years. The U.S. foreign-born population increased by about one million people every year between 2000 and 2006. Hispanics have historically had a higher employment rate than whites and blacks in the U.S., but that has changed since the current recession has hit Latin American immigrants particularly hard. The data also showed that median income fell in 27 states across the U.S., and the rate of home ownership also dropped.