Anti-immigrant bills could dampen jobs growth

By JACOB KANCLERZ
Capital News Service
LANSING – Studies show that immigrants are twice as likely to start a business as other people, so several Michigan organizations are welcoming them to spur economic growth. But despite support from Gov. Rick Snyder, state agencies and non-profit organizations, bills pending in the Legislature could undermine that effort, said Anika Fassia, a policy analyst with the Michigan League for Human Services. With the state trying to climb out of a decade-long recession, hindering a population known to revive local economies is puzzling, she said. “At a time of really high unemployment and in a state that was the only one to lose population, it makes no sense to impose or implement any anti-immigrant legislation when they have proven to contribute to the local economy, create businesses, create jobs,” she said. Immigrants were responsible for 32.8 percent of high-tech start-up companies in Michigan between 1995 and 2006, according to a report by the Michigan League for Human Services.