Friends of Refugees

A U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program Watchdog Group

Michigan one of 19 states trying to attract immigrant entrepreneurial talents

Posted by Christopher Coen on May 22, 2012

Like the program that is welcoming immigrants to Dayton, Ohio, Michigan now has an initiative called “Welcoming Michigan” that seeks to welcome immigrants and their entrepreneurial talents. The article points out that, “the U.S. Small Business Administration found that the foreign-born were more than three times as likely as non-immigrants to start a new business,” and, “last year, according to CNN Money, ‘immigrants created 28% of all new firms.’” An article at Immigration Impact explains the case:

While some states pushed for punitive immigration measures over the last year—measures designed to drive immigrants away —others, like those in Michigan, were busy putting together a plan that welcomes immigrants and their revitalizing power to the state. This month, leaders in Michigan—including state Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) and U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit)—helped launch “Welcoming Michigan,” a statewide initiative that seeks to welcome immigrants and their entrepreneurial talents to Michigan…

…Michigan joins 19 others states in welcoming immigrants, including Ohio whose recent “Welcome Dayton Plan” has garnered national attention as a model for other states…

…While proponents of harsh immigration laws falsely believe that forcing immigrants out of the state “will free up jobs for Americans,” Welcoming America points out that in an aging America, booting immigrants from the state means a “smaller gross state product, smaller revenue bases for the state shrinking budgets, and smaller local markets for products and services produced in the state … a smaller population base means a poorer, weaker, and less competitive Michigan.” In fact, Standard and Poor’s Rating Service reported this week that cities with high numbers of foreign born saw tax bases grow and per-capita income increase.

Immigrants who live in Michigan are already contributing to the state’s economy. They accounted for 11% of total economic output in the Detroit metropolitan area as of 2007 and comprised 6.8% of the state’s workforce. Additionally, the U.S. Small Business Administration found that the foreign born were more than three times as likely as non-immigrants to start a new business. Last year, according to CNN Money, “immigrants created 28% of all new firms.”… Read more here

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