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Thailand: Tanee Meeboon
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Tanee Meeboon is from Thailand. He says he likes the U.S. because of the opportunities for education and advancement here. (MPR Photo/Toni Randolph)

Minneapolis, Minn. — Tanee Meeboon is from Bangkok, Thailand. He's 46 and lives in Minneapolis with his wife and three children. He first came to the U.S. as a student in 1988 and then went back to Thailand.

He came to the U.S. again in 1999, first to Florida. He moved to Minnesota the next year because he has cousins here. Meeboon says learned about good opportunities for foreigners and decided to move his family here.

For the past five years, Meeboon has managed the Sawatdee Thai restaurant in Minneapolis.

Meeboon says he wants his kids to get a good education in English.

"Because I graduated from here and I know the system over here, that's why I just want my kids to get education like I did 20 years ago," he says.

Meeboon says it's harder to get a good education in English in Thailand, because the schools are very expensive.

Meeboon is a permanent resident right now, but says he plans to become a citizen soon.

"I like this country because, as everyone knows, it's the land of opportunity," he says. "If you work hard you can stay here and be happy over here."