Invest in immigrant talent
To his credit, Gov. Rick Snyder has been talking about welcoming immigrants ever since his first State of the State back in 2011. This time, however, he called for creating a “Michigan Office for New Americans,” to help educated, talented and ambitious immigrants, and he urged federal approval for a visa program to help provide a path to citizenship for entrepreneurial immigrants who come with at least $500,000 in capital to invest in new businesses.
Indeed, the metrics of what immigrants have done here are impressive — even to a numbers guy. From 1995-2005, one quarter of all high-tech startups in the U.S. were founded by non-native-born entrepreneurs.
In Michigan, where only six percent of our population today is foreign born, a radically disproportionate 32 percent of high-tech startups from 1990 to 2005 were founded by immigrants. In fact, nearly one-sixth of all businesses started in Michigan between 1996 and 2007 were launched by immigrants; in all, those 2,276 firms generated $1.5 billion in one year alone.
At Snyder’s urging, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has provided financial support for the Global Talent Retention Initiative of Michigan, a pioneering international student program. It’s aimed at encouraging the best of more than 25,000 foreign-born students at Michigan universities, many of them studying engineering and math, to stay after graduation.
Snyder joins forces with Bloomberg
Ashley Parker in the New York Times : Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York will be in Washington next Friday, with members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several prominent Republicans, to pressure Republican lawmakers to take up an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws before the end of the current Congress.
The immigration summit is pegged to President Obama’s coming State of the Union address, in which he is likely to address problems with the country’s immigration system. The event’s organizers also hope to capitalize on momentum in the Republican-controlled House, where Speaker John A. Boehner and his leadership team are preparing to release a policy blueprint that is likely to include at least some path to legal status for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country.
Other participants include Carlos Gutierrez, secretary of commerce under President George W. Bush and a founder of Republicans for Immigration Reform, a super PAC”; Gov. Rick Snyder, Republican of Michigan; and Randy Johnson, senior vice president at the Chamber of Commerce.