The number of foreign-born residents of the U.S. declined for the first time since at least 1970, according to the Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey.

For Mexican immigrants, a decline in construction jobs resulted in their reluctance to immigrate to the U.S. Yet for foreigners from other countries there’s a greater fear that the idea of a more leisurely life in America is a lot harder to come by.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal:

“In multiple ways -- falling homeownership, families moving in with others, couples putting off marriage -- the report illustrated that the recession has upended Americans' lives.”

If Americans are suffering, what sense of urgency do others have to come here?

Of course, there are other factors involved in these figures. For one the Bush administration tightened immigration laws – making it far more difficult for immigrants to come and go as they please (in theory, at least). And it’s still a task to properly tally just how many illegal immigrates are present.

Still, the American dream has lost some of its luster globally and as a result, some are thinking, “Why not just stay where I am?” It’s either that or, “Gee, I wonder how hard it would be to learn Mandarin?”

Previously I’ve written about Mexican immigration declining for the first time since 2005. One reader chimed in on why some his Mexican brethren are opting to stay in the low crime, politically stable, economically booming country of Mexico over destitute America.

In short: “Immigrants came here to enjoy the finer things in life, but since you industrialized nations (sans China) are too broke to keep up, the simpler things in life sound a lot more appealing.”

Based on past posts about immigration, I’m sure the lot of you are grinning ear-to-ear about the decline in immigration. But, doesn’t it worry you that the country hailed as the land of opportunity is losing its luster?

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