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Americans and Brazilian Immigrants Flock South in Search of Brazilian Dream PDF Print E-mail
2011 - October 2011
Written by Denise Fonseca   
Sunday, 09 October 2011 13:33

Ibirapuera monument in São Paulo Brazilian immigrants are returning home to a bustling economy that offers better financial opportunities for Brazilian natives and foreigners alike. As competition for jobs in the U.S. has become increasingly fierce, many Brazilian-Americans have been persuaded to return home, where obstacles such as work visas, English fluency, and not to mention prolonged separation from family, are absent. 

Due to a historically low unemployment rate of 6 percent and earnings back home that have risen 170 percent since 1999, Brazilian immigrants are returning to their native construction, manufacturing, and service industries, which in the United States have been crippled by the ongoing effects of the recession.

Despite the global economic downturn, in 2008, the Brazilian economy rebounded quickly and has maintained steady growth. Brazil now leads Latin America with the world's seventh largest economy, rising to prominence on the global stage.

During the economic turmoil of the 1980s that swept Latin America, many Brazilians emigrated to the United States in hopes of achieving their own versions of the "American Dream:" an idealistic goal no longer possible in today's stagnant U.S. economy.

Subsequently, the Brazilian Diaspora is now beginning to return home for better economic opportunities. Recently, airlines have noted that a higher number of Brazilian migrants are now purchasing one-way tickets during the winter months when the need for U.S. manual labor slows down.

As the number of Brazilians flocking home increases, the population of Brazilians in the U.S. decreases. According to the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, the amount of legal permanent residents who emigrated from Brazil to the U.S. has decreased from 14,701 residents in 2009 to 12,057 in 2010."

As Brazilians return home for better employment opportunities, U.S. citizens have followed suit, seeking the benefits of a potential "Brazilian Dream".

Americans are arriving in Brazil with a gold-rush mentality, determined to make profit. In the first six months of 2010, more than 4,300 U.S. citizens received working visas from Brazil's labor ministry, an increase of twenty percent over the previous year alone.

U.S. bankers, hedge fund managers, oil executives, and engineers have fled to large metropolitan cities such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in search of jobs. U.S. and foreign investors have been particularly attracted to Brazil's oil discoveries. Meanwhile, the demand for jobs in information technology industries is also high.

Brazil still needs about 60,000 new engineers and as a result the government has been soliciting U.S. and other foreigner workers to fill these needed skilled positions. Jobs in mining, infrastructure, retail, and finance have also attracted trained workers from all around the world.

According to the New York Times, salaries in Brazil "are at least 50 percent more than salaries in the U.S. for strategic positions." Last year, Brazil's economy increased 7.5 percent and is expected to grow by four percent this year.

Despite the more favorable opportunities found in Brazil, US citizens heading south will face issues not encountered in the States. These include an overheating of the Brazilian economy and the high appreciation of the Brazilian real. Americans also have to compete for jobs with homeward-bound Brazilians as labor legislation favors hiring a Brazilian worker over a foreigner.

For immigrants, obtaining a Brazilian work visa can be a lengthy process. Still, U.S. citizens are attracted by an alluring culture, the Portuguese language, the hospitality of the Brazilian people, and the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. 

Despite these attractions, U.S. President Barack Obama's new economic stimulus plan may alter the currently increasing immigration rate to Brazil.

On September 8, 2011 Obama outlined several goals for his stimulus plan, specifically geared toward creating more jobs to jolt the economy. If passed the stimulus plan will provide more summer jobs for young workers, invest USD 35 billion in local communities for more teachers and expanded healthcare, and provide businesses with USD 4,000 in tax credits to those unemployed for a period of six months or more.

If the stimulus plan is passed and expands economic opportunities in the U.S. as intended, we can expect the mad dash to Brazil to abate. However, Brazil's rise has turned it into a global destination of considerable gravity, particularly for those seeking a broad spectrum of economic opportunities.

Denise Fonseca is a research associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) - The organization is a think tank established in 1975 to discuss and promote inter-American relationship. Email:

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Comments (27)Add Comment
written by asp, October 09, 2011
im always way ahead of the curve......

but, why do i read that the brazilian population in south florida alone is something like 250,000 ( about half the population of the city where i live )? the obvious answer of illegal immigration really doesnt explain those numbers

why do i read that the people who are really helping to save the south florida real estate economy , among some other south american countries , also , is brazil ?

the brazilians are some major buyers of condos in south florida...
way ahead, yeah right
written by asp, October 09, 2011
im so far ahead im behind in this hot economy ( i got down here just in time to be a part of the lower lower lower middle class)....behind the 8 ball of getting my ass kicked
written by .., October 09, 2011

im always way ahead of the curve......

Yet another self-validating remark ASP.smilies/wink.gif

But...but...but...perhaps some of our more distinguished bloggers, especially Simpleton, will gladly line up to give you a pat on the back.smilies/wink.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/grin.gif
written by João da Silva, October 09, 2011

An interesting link to read. It may answer your question about inflation.smilies/cheesy.gif,0.htm

facing certain arrest and deportation in the usa. illegal brazilians are returning to brazil in record numbers .
written by us observer, October 10, 2011
interesting article ,,,,, but as usual a few pertinient facts are either conviently missing or intentional when anything is written about us immigration ...firstly,,,the overwhelming majority of brazilian nationals in the usa are illegal and are mostly if not nearly all uneducated ,illiterate ,and have a high propensity to have low paying underground jobs where they evade us laws on illegal employment,income tax laws,and illegal presence summing up they are frauding stealing and pilfering us welfare programs designed for poor americans who are sick,or unemployed ...secondly ,these brazilian nationals who are illegal can not speak english nor many of them can even write literate portuguese...these brazilian nationals are facing very unwelcoming americans who want them out of the country ,deported ,arrested and sent back to brazil as us laws on illegal aliens are tightening up and making their underground criminal counterfeit fake documents life difficult...brazilians do not assimilate in america very well and the language and culture differences are wide..the point on brazilian nationals buying property in south florida is a small blip of miami /sunny isles buyers who are rich brazilians who are educated and from the upper classes in finance and industry in brazil these people will merely live in those condos only a few months of the year or just use them as rentals ..there is no way that there are 250,000 brazilian nationals in miami hollywood and hallandale fact there isn,t 250,000 brazilian nationals in all of florida from brazil .deerfield beach,pompano ,margate 28,000,,miami/hallandale/surfside 12 to 15000.,brazilian orgs like to pump up their numbers in their usual brazilian style of extreme exzaggeration and lies ..south americans and russian nationals are creating a huge crime wave of identity theft ,mortgage and bank fraud,social services fraud ,and financial frauds ,and medicaid frauds along with a huge counterfeit document business n south florida law enforcemt and us immigration investigaters and interpol and the FBI are all over these foreign nationals and busting them up by the day ....the days for illegal aliens in the usa are closing in as obama is certain to be defeated in landslide as americans are insisting on rule of law and a huge nationwide crackdown on illegals in the usa
written by vincent, October 10, 2011
"the brazilians are some major buyers of condos in south florida..."

Truth is, Brazilians are major buyers of condos in south florida, not live, but for a vacation place to stay. That's what you "asp" miss to tell here, and that's what the lame mainstream media like CNBC and bloomberg missed to explain.

clowns like us observer make me laugh, typical frustrated unemployed idiots who are stuck in the US and believe the problems can be solved at the ballot box.
written by João da Silva, October 10, 2011

Have we met before in this blog?smilies/smiley.gifsmilies/wink.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/grin.gif
" the truth is" in brazilian bastardized portuguese is translated as a LIE
written by us observer, October 11, 2011
@ vincent ,,,fu punk..I am not stuck in the us I am american and born in the usa ... so FU you miserable jealous bitch..I,ll say it again even for vinnie the guinea!...there are some brazilian nationals from the upper classes buying condos in bldgs in south florida. foreign nationals owning part time condos in florida is common but not in the majority these people are part time residents or investors or speculators...another thing vinnie the guinea the majority of brazilian nationals in the usa are illegal aliens ...illegal brazilian nationals are not the buyers of these so. florida condos those buyers are wealthy educated brazilians with legal visas (a small number primarily in miami /sunny isles) ...the closest any illegal brazilians in florida get to americans is cleaning their toilets !! for cash of course! all the better to evade us income tax laws ..oh one more thing the super majority of wealth and property owners in all of florida is of course americans ...foreign nationals who own property in florida or are wealthy amount to a single digit...the rest are illegal aliens. hey vinnie your documents look fake maybe even counterfeit .
.... BRAZZIL ....
written by yourmama, October 11, 2011

Amerikans Since 1989 Trying to Bash Brazil

and Censoring Brasilian Comments !

written by Simpleton, October 12, 2011
If it weren't for the capitalization errors I would have guessed vincent was VinnyCarioca!smilies/grin.gif

I liked the thought of asp " getting my ass kicked" by a "hot economy" but I'm sure he really was talking about inflation not inflatables.smilies/tongue.gif
written by ric, October 15, 2011
There is a sense in which Brazil's progress is directly related to people from elsewhere coming here to work. In SJC in 1971 I met Russians making a high wing French plane into the prototype Bandeirante.

What many Americans probably don't get is how fast things can change in Brazil compared to Europe or the USA. In the 1970's the currency was fairly stable, the military was guaranteeing safety on the streets; in the 80's everything was so cheap in dollars, while people that understood Brazil quietly bought everything they could and clueless expats smugly rented mansions for $100 a month and lived high on their disposable income. Then the Collar plan, then FHC, recently the attempt to tax foreign cars 30%.

There is a certain instability in the way the powers that be can change the game in a heartbeat, here in Brazil.

And many locals are naive in their idea that if the whole worldwide system continues to tank, Brazil and opportunities here will not.
written by vincent, October 19, 2011
And many locals are naive in their idea that if the whole worldwide system continues to tank, Brazil and opportunities here will not.

As far I've seen in Brazil is and I mean in three big cities (Manaus, Amazonas, Sao Paulo-SP, and Porto Alegre-Rio Grande do Sul), is that the locals in those cities are aware that the crisis will hit Brazil, no matter what (what is a good sign that they know/understand that, because when the unknown hits him or her, the fear + reality (chaos) will destroy him/her). Anyway, knowing that plus still understand what happened in the past in Brazil (what is still fresh there in memory) only makes them stronger. Majority of Brazilians know how to live with less, something that doesn't exist in the US or Europe. They don't know that and that is another fear that will destroy them (not being capable of living with less)

In the US, they believe: If it goes bad here, it goes bad everywhere, because the US is only one who is capable of doing things right. That's the koolaid they believed and still believe, because it's brandend in their brains.
In Europe it's similar but divided, 50% believe the same thing as what they believe in the US and the other 50% is divided again in, they know it's BS or I don't care:I can go on vacation so I'm doing fine.
Outside those areas they understand they will get hit, but smell their opportunties. When there is a crisis, there are opportunities somewhere. An old saying and common sense thinking.

What is happening now in Brazil should not be a suprise if you paid deeply attention to that nation in all areas since the late 90's. Brazil is slow, but so what, the point is, they are on the right track and have a LONG way to go. The nations in Europe and the US claim to be developed. Uhmm, that is for me a troubled sign thinking of ..developing doesn't stop when you claim to be "developed". and yes, they are developed in DEBT. The mathmatical scheme has topped and is now comming down. bad bad bad news, but the wealth will go somewhere else, thus it's not the end of the world, though it's the end of "their" world + world view.
written by PaulaN, October 20, 2011
I honestly think that this is actually good news for Brazil and for other countries. I mean, I don't understand why people want to come to the United States to live and work when there is hardly any work left. Other countries are doing so much better than the United States is but hopefully, one day, all countries will be doing well. Thanks for this article.
excuse me but the usa has no shortages of highly educated and skilled workers
written by usa superpower, October 21, 2011
listen for you freshmen out there with no education in us history or facts about the usa ...the united states of america is the most powerfull and wealthiset country in the history of the world ,secondly the reason for this is its firsts and bests in innovation ,invention ,and technologies .thirdly ,its people are educated literate and have the best education systems in the world MIT ,HARVARD, and the worlds finest hospitals and doctors in the world ...add that up and thats why the usa is the worlds sole superpower , no the worlds sole ultra superpower ....
written by Simpleton, October 21, 2011
How about that record US 3.5 BILLION our best and finest multinational, Intel Corp, reported ne'? And that when everything everywhere is falling apart (or so everyone is lead to beleive.)
Brazil next...
written by Andrew Keet, October 22, 2011
Brazil, like South Africa, is going to have a growth spurt with the up coming 2014 FIFA World Cup™ and the 2016 Summer Olympics, my hope is this fantastic country can build on these legacies. To learn more about the country, please view:
Spurt Flop
written by Simpleton, October 22, 2011
Andrew, the tourist trade, helping set up a footprint and new business to service the ricos for FIFA and Olympics is something I have already had folks asking for my support with. Although the opportunities to get a quick buck over the next few years does exist, I don't see any way how it might survive beyond that time frame. You should see all the never finally finished high rise apartment buildings, etc., that came into existance for the last major event in Rio. Folks went broke betting on "hopes".
written by João da Silva, October 22, 2011

After twisting the tiger by its tail and being severely mauled , all our distinguished fellow bloggers surely will be happy to know that you are still alive and kicking. smilies/wink.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/grin.gif

But...but...but.. Andrew sounds quite upbeat about the upcoming sports events in Brasil. He must have made lots of bucks during the "Cup" in South Africa last year and therefore we should listen to his advice. Of course, this is just my humble opinion.smilies/cheesy.gif
written by asp, October 25, 2011
congradulations to the brazilian swimmers in the pan. cesar cielo is phenominal and he probably will get the gold in the next olympics

vincint, i agree with you. brazilians have learned to improvise through crisis.
us observer
written by Soviet observer, November 03, 2011
please post a picture of yourself in a string bikini & high heels made in china smilies/grin.gifsmilies/cheesy.gif
us observer
written by Soviet observer, November 03, 2011
i am in need of a 'roll' model smilies/wink.gif
written by VJSL, November 08, 2011
I am Brazilian and love US! I think it is a time of tremendous difficulty to all nations due to the financial crisis, it is time to help each other not to punish each other with mean and offensive comments. We from all cultures and nationalities must spread love not anger! US has ever been the biggest economy in world, it is a great nation. It is fact! No one can change that! Brazil is recovered very well from the last crisis and is growing amazingly heading to be the fifth economy in the world. It is also a fact and no one can deny! US and Brazil are great countries and should walk together to help others! Everything that is happening lately is simply what the Bible clearly tells us. One thing is for sure, Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior, is coming back to rescue his people from this damaged world! MARANATAsmilies/grin.gif
Ha ha ha
written by Mack, November 12, 2011
It is a bunch of lies Brazil is this powerhouse people are led to believe.

There are a few people making money,as always, and the new rich going to Miami because the dollar is low.

It is unthinkable what is happening in Brazil nowdays regarding the housing prices.

How come the price of a one bedroom flat double in one year?

We are living in total madness.
written by Sparkle, November 13, 2011
The US is NOT doing that great either. I work for the Federal Government. Without welfare aid from China the US would be sinking a lot faster than it already is.

The AMerican people are literally losing their damn minds. The Brazilian people know how to stay optimistic in the face of adversity but Americans are like spoiled bratty kids who holler and scream when they drop their ice cream cone.

And most Americans are stupid. They think the President is some sort of Santa Claus whose major job is to provide each citizen (at least each white citizen) with a mansion and a few expensive cars.

Give me Brazil and her people any day over fat whiny unhappy miserable American losers who whine and bitch about everything under the sun. Jeezus Christ.
u.s.a. military bases will soon be established in central and south america
written by us observer, November 20, 2011
hey soviet observer ....the soviet union collasped long ago much for dispicable slave state marxism ... you sound like a marxist fag... your insecurities and jealousy of the united states and americans is obvious are insignificant ,impotent,impedint and a bore ...
Billionaire Soros’ 28-Yr-Old Girlfriend Sues Him
written by a.norlina, November 22, 2011
Billionaire George Soros must have a firm “my place, not yours” policy now that his current squeeze and the ex-lover who’s suing him for $50 million both live in the same Manhattan apartment building.

The wealthy octogenarian left it to the condo board and doorman to referee between Adriana Ferreyr, the 28-year-old former Brazilian soap star who claims Soros reneged on promises of a $1.9 million apartment, and Tamiko Bolton, 39, the woman to whom he gave it instead.

Things became so testy between the rival women at 30 E. 85th St. – when the scorned Ferreyr managed to rent another apartment there – that each accused the other of harassment, according to court papers.

It didn’t help that after five years together, including vacations hobnobbing in St. Barts, Ferreyr says Soros broke things off just days after signing the contract on the apartment of her dreams.

The passive-aggressive catfight between the sultry actress and the sexy licensed pharmacist escalated to the point that Bolton began “slandering her to the board of the building, the management company, doormen and lawyers,” Ferreyr charges in her lawsuit.
Bolton, who was identified as a partner in Soros Fund Management on the list of attendees at several events around the world, including a UN summit on climate change, could not be reached for comment.

But she never actually worked for Soros and was merely his guest on these jaunts, Soros spokesman Michael Vachon said.

“Tamiko Bolton is not and has never been an employee of SFM,” he said.
Sources say she is the octogenarian’s frequent “companion,” traveling with him to events and meetings in Europe.

Bolton still lives in Apartment 7C, the one Ferreyr says she chose after months of real-estate searching.

She learned of the betrayal only during a brief reconciliation, when Soros — who today turns 81 — admitted during pillow talk that he gave it to his new gal pal.

At that point, according to the lawsuit, the two argued, and when things escalated she claims Soros slapped her across the face and tried to bash her with a lamp.

Her account and all the allegations in the lawsuit are “a delusional work of fiction,” spokesman Vachon said, calling it “obviously an attempt to extract money from my client, who is known to be a very wealthy man.”

Soros was furious that Ferreyr — who is currently taking economics and philosophy classes at Columbia University — found a lease in the building and did everything he could to get her thrown out, she claims, including hiring private investigators to stalk her.

Additional reporting by Rebecca Rosenberg and Reuven Fenton

written by Caetano Silva, December 16, 2011
As a brazilian-american, who achieved the american dream, I open my arms to my fellows americans who want to persue their dreams in Brazil. If I encounter any U.S citizens in Brazil I will go out of my way to help them; this my moral and ethical way to say thanks for the U.S for opening its doors in the 90's, when I moved to U.S.A, runing away from a huge economic crisis in

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