Governor Rick Snyder says he considers himself "probably the most aggressive pro-immigration governor in the country." Snyder says Michigan should work to attract immigrants with advanced degrees, especially in biomedical sciences and high-tech industries.
He reminded students, researchers and educators at University of Michigan today that some of the state’s most successful businesses – such as Meijer and Dow – were founded by immigrants.
“We tend to forget they’re Michigan names. Dow was a Canadian emigrant and Meijers was a Dutch emigrant. And now they’re household words that we consider them Michiganders,” said Snyder.
State Demographer Ken Darga says one of the big reasons Michigan was the only state to lose population in the past decade is because of a failure to attract immigrants.
Snyder also stated that too many college graduates in Michigan are leaving the state to pursue careers. He says part of that is because there are not enough jobs available for young workers. He says revitalizing urban areas will help reverse the so-called “brain drain.”
“It’s absolutely critical for Detroit to begin on the path to be a great city again because many of our young people are looking for that urban environment. And there are good things going on in Detroit. They’re good enough going on today that I like to ask young people – and you might appreciate this – I say ‘Do you want to be another yuppie in Chicago, or do you want to stay and make a difference in Detroit?’” said Snyder.
*Correction - an earlier version of this story was titled "Governor visits U of M, touts anti-immigration stance." He was highlighting his "pro-immigration" stance. The headline has been changed.