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Report: Immigrants are fueling Michigan's population and economic growth

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Immigrants are powering Michigan’s economic recovery, and President Donald Trump’s immigration policy is sending the wrong message to those considering Michigan as a place to attend college or start a business. That’s according to a report released by the Michigan Economic Center.

“Immigrants are a boon for our economy in Michigan,” Michigan Economic Center Director John Austin said. Austin is also a co-author of the report. “They (immigrants) are the only source of population gain, and so we benefit enormously by welcoming and supporting our immigrant population and helping them become a full member of the Michigan family.”

The report found that over the past 15 years, the state's population of legal immigrants increased nearly 25 percent, while the poplulation of Michigan natives decreased 1.5 percent over the same time. In addition, the report says immigrant owned businesses last year generated $608 million in business income, while immigrants are 3 times as likely to start a new business as a native born Michigander.

Austin says President Donald Trump’s travel ban is sending the wrong message to immigrants, and the message should change for the sake of Michigan’s economy.

“We want you here, we need you here, and we want your talents here. And when you are in this combination of a policy sending the message ‘we don’t want you here,’ it is really scaring away and choking off this life blood of new business creation of talent and workers that we need to make the economy go.”

The report found that immigrants own 31,000 businesses in the state of Michigan, employing over 150,000.

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