[FOUNTAIN]No jobs here? Let’s export some peopleKorean-Americans often have imaginative ideas linking unemployment with immigration. They suggest that America is still a land of opportunity that can absorb the Korean surplus work force.
Korea is a small country with a large population, and the United States has a small population relative to its vast size. Colorado is as large as the entire Korean Peninsula with a population of 7 million. Many American citizens in the Midwest are often more interested in who will become the governor of their state than who would become the next president in the next election. They feel that the quality of life in their state and city would determine the future of America.
Two million people live in and near Denver, the capital of Colorado, and there are 30,0000 Korean-Americans among them.
Kang Han-young, who runs a local newspaper in Denver, says the United States is so big it could immediately absorb about 10 million immigrants from Korea. He added that the Korean government should consider an aggressive emigration policy to resolve youth unemployment, early retirement issues and the increasing senior population by encouraging people to emigrate to the United States. Along with other Americans in the region, Mr. Kang plans to run an advertising campaign in Korea called “Come to Denver!”
Mayor Ed Tauer of Aurora, a city near Denver, is enthusiastic about creating a program to boost human and material exchanges with Korean cities. Koreans there say that expanding cities like Denver and Aurora have many ideas to persuade the federal government to ease immigration regulations if the Korean government would come forward with an appropriate plan.
This year is the 101st anniversary of the start of Korean emigration to the United States. The first immigrants were 102 farmers who went to sugar cane plantations in Hawaii in 1903.
Koreans who moved abroad participated in the independence movement in Korea, were drafted to serve in the military or to work for Japan’s war machine or emigrated to foreign lands to pursue a better personal life.
In the 1960s under the Park Chung Hee administration, miners and nurses were sent to Germany in return for loans.
If it is hard to find a job in Korea, why not look for it abroad? It’s a globalized world.
by Chun Young-gi
The writer is deputy political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.