Michigan’s Friendliness to Immigration Seen as Key to Economic Development

By Peter Briggs

A need for economic transformation in Michigan has lead to some creative thinking and a new initiative from Republican Governor Rick Snyder that international educators should applaud. The Global Michigan Initiative aims to promote Michigan's economic prosperity by welcoming the best and the brightest from around the world and to include everyone in reinventing Michigan.

It starts with the premise that Michigan’s long tradition of reliance on a manufacturing economy will not return and that talent from abroad is key to fostering the innovation and entrepreneurship that will be the state’s way forward to economic revitalization. Snyder, a former business executive who is new to elective politics, has frequently voiced the opinion that it is in our state’s best interest to create an environment that is welcoming to immigration, and that includes international students and scholars. This does, of course, stand in stark contrast to so much of the anti-immigration policies that are sprouting up around the country.

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