The Obama administration has agreed to accept around 10,000 immigrant refugees from Syria over the course of the next 12 months. Although the plan has been criticized by many of the Republican Presidential candidate nominees, including Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, the Republican Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, takes a rather different view.
Snyder says he wants to see the Syrian immigrants come to Michigan, not only for reasons of humanitarianism but also because they could help to address the fall in population and taxes in the state. Snyder says that immigrants who have passed security checks have a lot to offer Michigan on both a cultural and economic level, and wants to see if the state can accept as many as possible.
“It’s time for refugees and immigrants to be seen as a benefit to society that offer economic development and growth to communities, and Detroit seems to get that,” says Michael Mitchell from the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, which is one of nine organizations being used by the US government to resettle refugees all over the country. “That is a very enlightened view.”
Mitchell says that no final decisions have been made on locations or numbers but that leaders in Detroit eagerly await more refugees, with the area already having a very large population of Arab-Americans. Michigan, which was the state hardest hit by the auto industry being globalized, is most interested in the economic argument, which has seen its largest city Detroit lose over a million in its population since the 1950s.