This report is a clarion call from two Michigan economic development organizations to recognize and support the significant contributions that immigrants are making to the revival of the Michigan economy. The authors are concerned that the gains that the state has made in creating an immigrant-friendly environment are being undermined by policies of the Trump Administration. Although immigrants constitute only 6 percent of the state's population, they punch above their weight on many indices of economic activity, including being 25 percent of the state's high-tech start-ups and running firms that employ over 150,000 other people. Immigrants have also brought an infusion of talent and labor to offset the decline in the native-born population over the last 15 years. The authors summarize the many initiatives the state has taken with the support of state, municipal, and industry leaders to promote the state as an immigrant-friendly destination, including the creation of the Michigan Office of New Americans by Republican Governor Rick Snyder. However, policies of the Trump Administration, such as the scaling back of H-1B visas, the travel ban affecting predominantly Muslim countries, and reductions in refugee admissions, threaten to reverse these gains.
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