Press Release from Alliance for Immigrant Rights & Reform:
Detroit – On Thursday morning at the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s annual public policy breakfast at the Detroit Athletic Club, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder fielded questions regarding proposed anti-immigrant legislation in Michigan.
After a speech which highlighted the contributions of Hispanic and Latino businesses to Michigan’s economy and the importance that immigrants are playing in Michigan’s economic recovery, local business owners pressed the Governor on Arizona-style legislation introduced in the state legislature, HB 4305.
Governor Snyder explained his opposition to the Arizona-style legislation, stating that it was unnecessary and “would encourage a divisive atmosphere” in an already divided state. Governor Snyder also noted that there were currently over 10,000 Latino-owned businesses in Michigan, a fact which he felt deserved more attention in order to help these businesses grow.
The governor’s comments were met with enthusiastic applause from the pro-business audience which was comprised of many of the top Latino corporate leaders in Michigan.
The Governor also reminded the audience that, though Michigan was the only state to lose population according to the most recent census, the Latino population in the state actually grew by 30%, helping to stave off even greater loses in the state’s overall population.
“We’re glad to see that Governor Snyder understands the economic cost an Arizona-style law would have here in Michigan. Immigrants are building businesses, paying taxes, and helping to put our state back to work. We should have policies that welcome those investors and entrepreneurs, not treat them like criminals. We applaud Governor Snyder’s stance on this important economic and civil rights issue. He is setting a good example for forward-thinking leaders at a time when politicians in states like Arizona and Georgia have decided instead to embrace the politics of fear and division,” said Ethraim Cash Brammer, a leader of the AIR coalition and administrator at Wayne State University who was in attendance at the event.