They are working in Atlanta, even out in Omaha, all around the Niagara area, and outside Baltimore; they come across the ocean to Springsteen's Jersey Shore. They are the foreign college student summer workers here in the U.S. on a J-1 summer work-travel visa (SWT). We are likely to meet them at almost any vacation resort we visit across the land. What are we to make of this phenomenon impacting America in these worrisome times?
Certainly, the influx represents a radical departure from traditional/historical circumstances of the seasonal job. For many decades, American teens found summer jobs at small amusement parks and attractions close to home.
Since the onset of globalization in the late 20th century, there has been a surge in foreign student workers. According to U.S. State Department (USSD) figures, the number in the J-1 SWT program hovered around 150,000 from 2006 to 2008. After significant reductions because of our recession, the number for 2010 will be around 80,000.