America is always the dreamland of many people. There are thousands of Chinese going to the USA every year legally and illegally, especially the Fujianese, for a better job opportunity. However, the USA dream is not as good as they expect. Even though they get what they want, they have to scarify a lot before. The discussions will concentrate on Fujianese which include (i) the backgrounds of the immigrants in Fujian, (ii) the reasons why they go to the USA, and (iii) their real situations and difficulties encountered in the USA.
Most of the backgrounds of the illegal immigrants are very similar. Many people would think that the immigrants are very poor in their homelands so that they want to go abroad to earn more money. In fact, most of them are not the poorest since they run their own business in Fujian. It is because the poorest cannot afford the down payment required by "ÃÂsnakeheads'.
The snakeheads are human smugglers who help the illegal immigrants going to other countries (Kwong, 1997). They can make 30RMB a day which is quite good already in Fujian. They believe they can become wealthy in the States, known as "the Golden Mountain"ÃÂ, because they can enjoy a higher average income which is about 20 times the average income in Fujian (Mah & Morse 2000). Even they just wash dishes in the Chinatown, they are still willing to go because the income is much more higher than when they are professionals in Fujian.
It is used to suggest that the main purpose of them going to USA is making money. In fact, they go to USA for developing their status in the village. It is because there is a centuries-old tradition of emigration in Fujian, peopling China Town around the world. It seems that it is a status symbol of having a family member in the USA. When those families receive money from the West, they build new and bigger luxurious apartments and are greatly respected. People in Fujian get together, they always talk about how their family members are doing in the States. Those who have stayed behind still earning low Chinese wages and living in older, more cramped dwellings, feel like losers. For those who successfully landed in the USA, their names are listed on a red poster in the village theater (Huang & Ho, 2000). It gives an advertising effect and incentive for those who are still in Fujian to go to USA.