Business
11:16 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Leaders call for immigration reform to help save Detroit

Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit leaders announced their immigration reform plan this morning at the Hispanic-owned Ideal Group in Detroit.

The plan calls for federal changes that would allow immigrants to live, work, and hopefully create jobs in the city of Detroit.

More from Gov. Snyder’s press release:

Detroit must harness the power of skilled immigrants to grow its economy, increase its tax base and reverse its population decline, Gov. Rick Snyder said today as he urged federal action on his proposal that increases employment-based visas for immigrants.

“We want the world to know that Detroit is open for business,” Snyder said. “Legal immigration helped to build this great city and is just as critical to its comeback. Immigrants create jobs and Detroit is a great value opportunity in terms of business costs and overall quality of life.

The plan calls for the federal government to secure 50,000 employment-based visas for skilled immigrants (employment-based second preference visas, or EB-2 visas).

The visas would require that the visa holders reside and work in the city of Detroit.

Gov. Snyder's office cited the following statistics in support of the plan:

  • Nationally, immigrants founded 28 percent of all small businesses started in 2011.
  • Immigrants file patents at twice the rate of U.S.-born citizens.
  • During the last decade, immigrants created nearly one-third of the high-tech businesses in Michigan, a rate six times higher than the rest of the population and ranking Michigan third in the U.S.

Snyder also called on the federal government to approve Michigan’s request to establish an “EB-5 regional center.” The regional center would be established to promote and invest in businesses that could lead to more job creation and "increased domestic capital investment."