. April 3, 2008 SouthAmerica: The Exodus from the United States continues and it is slowly snowballing. Last Saturday a friend of ours came for diner at our house. These is a couple who used to live here in Bergen County, New Jersey since the mid-1960âs, then they moved to Miami about ten years ago, but some of their sons still live on our area and they visit them on a regular basis. She was telling me that her grandson who also live in Miami with his father is very depressed because all his friends have moved to Brazil. All his father friends have moved back to Brazil in the last few years and there is nobody left in the area. She also told me that about ten years ago in downtown Miami they had a major shopping center with mostly Brazilian stores, not only the shopping center but many of the businesses in the area belonged to Brazilians including restaurants, real estate offices, bakeries, and so on. Today the shopping center is closed and most of the businesses in the entire area are gone. It looks like one of these ghosts towns that they have in the middle of nowhere that were abandoned decades ago. These days they feel kind lonely living in Miami since everybody that they knew went back to Brazil â an extraordinary exodus that it is hard to believe that so many people left town to never return. I have been mentioning about this exodus for quite some time now, but only in the last few months The New York Times and now the Financial Times are finally reporting on this exodus. The US government it does not know for sure if there were 12 or 20 million illegal immigrants living in the United States in 2005. Since then thousands of legal and illegal immigrants have been moving back to the countries from where they come from or they are trying to go to a country with better prospects for the future. A few years ago was estimated that there were about 1.3 million Brazilians living in the United States 50 percent legal and 50 percent illegal immigrants. The interesting part is that not only the illegal immigrants are moving back to Brazil, but thousands of people who had been living in the US for 10, 20 years or even longer. All these people are giving up on the American dream because they have realized that the American dream is gone or is dying at the speed of light. The exodus does not include only Brazilians â the exodus includes people of other nationalities and is it not affecting the illegal immigrant population, it does include thousands of legal immigrants as well. Between the legal and illegal immigrants in the United States we are talking about 50 million people and if only 10 percent of these people decide to go back to where they come from we still talking about 5 million people. And you can bet that when 5 million people leaves town they have a major impact on the communities that they leave behind with a major economic impact to the country and also to the communities where these people used to live. Just wait until the American mainstream media finally realize the economic impact of this exodus on the US economy â it will take a while since the American media takes a long time to catch on even about the most obvious things. Given enough time eventually they are going to connect the dots and they will realize the major negative impact that this exodus is having on the price of real estate in many parts of the country â making the real estate crisis even deeper and worse for years to come. This exodus of people from the United States it has many economic ramifications for the US economy including the impact on the price of real estate in the United States ***** âNorth begins to lose allure for Braziliansâ By Richard Lapper in SÃ£o Paulo Published: April 2, 2008 Financial Times - UK At the end of 2004, Genini Danelli paid what locals call a âconsulâ $10,000 to take him to Mexico and across the border into the US. The 44-year-old construction worker from the Brazilian city of Governador Valadares has had a poor return on his investment. Working on building sites in Boston, New Jersey and most recently in North Carolina, Mr Danelli earned about $500 (â¬315, Â£251) a week when times were reasonably good. Even so, it took him a 1Â½ years to pay off the debt, and in the past year or so things have gone downhill rapidly. The Brazilian real has strengthened against the US dollar, depressing the value in local currency of the $300-$400 a month that Mr Danelli sent home to his wife and four children. Over the past year or so, work has been harder to find as a result of the downturn in the US housing market; some months he even struggled to meet his $700 a month US rental bill. Shortly before Christmas, he returned to Brazil and is now organising building work from his home and working as a taxi driver to make extra money. âIt worked out for some people, but for me it didnât. I donât know why, but it just wasnât worth it in the end,â says Mr Danelli, whose brother lives in the US managing a successful landscape-gardening business. In Valadares, returned and disappointed migrants like Mr Danelli are increasingly common. Since the Brazilian recession of the late 1980s, the city has won something of a reputation as a centre for emigration to the US. Indeed, 30,000-40,000 people from Valadares â equivalent to at least one in eight of the cityâs 250,000 population â live and work in the US, the vast majority of them in Boston suburbs, such as Framingham. But in the past few months hundreds â perhaps as many as 3,000 â have returned home, says JosÃ© Bonifacio MourÃ£o, the cityâs mayor. The weakening dollar, rising US living costs, the collapse of any prospect of immigration reform and increasingly fierce policing have all made the US a less attractive place. âMigrants are really down. They Raimundo Santana, a journalist and says feel they have no prospects,â adviser to the cityâs mayor who himself spent several years in the Boston area. Even successful migrants have been discouraged by the slow decline in their spending power. For six years Edson Djalma FernÃ¡ndez, 53, and his wife, Giany Aparecida, 37, worked double shifts at Boston branches of Dunkinâ Donuts and sent up to $3,000 a month back, enough to build a smart new house in a middle-class area of their home city. But they say things got harder after 2005. âWe started noticing that our tips were getting smaller. People started to pick up their change when they came in for a coffee,â says Ms Aparecida. Petrol costs started to rise and the strength of the real â it has more than doubled in value since 2002 â meant Ms Aparecida could afford to send back less to her mother and children. At the end of 2006 she returned home, followed a year later by her husband. âWe would have stayed a couple of years more but, because of the currency, it really wasnât worth while,â she says. The flood of people back to Valadares is causing some damage to the cityâs economy. Sueli Siqueira, a sociologist at the Universidade Vale do Rio Doce in the city, interviewed 200 recent returnees and found that less than half of them had accumulated any capital from their period in the US. Mr Santana says property prices have fallen and agents say few if any migrants now have the cash to pay outright for land. More than 20 travel agents that had specialised in the Mexico-US trade have closed their doors in the past two years. The decline in remittances â estimated by Mr Santana at about R$120m (US$68m, â¬44m, Â£35m) a year â could cause further problems, hitting local spending power in all sorts of ways. Ms Siqueira says many students rely on money sent by relatives living abroad to pay their fees but are now building up substantial arrears, for example. Already many recently returned migrants are considering emigration again. Ms Siqueira says 28 per cent of her interviewees are thinking about migrating to Europe, partly because stronger currencies will increase the value of the money they send home. Countries such as Portugal, Spain and Italy are especially attractive because Brazilians do not need visas to go there, she says. Genilson Soares, a 22-year-old recently deported from the US where he worked on building sites, is one of them and says he would love to go to Portugal or â better still â to study in Canada. âI learned how life is lived away from Brazil and I really want to try to do this again,â he says. âYou can earn $100 in a day there. Here it takes me two weeks.â Source: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b7e6e19c-0009-11dd-825a-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1 .