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Susan Im in the Grand Rapids Journal
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About Immigration:

Snyder Proposes Positive Immigration Changes
 
Governor Takes High Road over Alabama, Arizona
Saginaw – Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced a series of proposals today to make it easier for immigrant entrepreneurs to earn a visa by investing in Michigan and creating jobs. The proposals included positive changes to immigration rules that could attract more international investors and retain talented international students with high-tech degrees.
Snyder plans to request that Congress make changes for Michigan, including in the EB-5 investor visa program and the visa program for students. He is asking Congress to change EB-5 rules to require a certain level of investment and creation of five Michigan jobs to enable more entrepreneurs to start businesses here. He also wants Congress to authorize special green cards for international graduates of Michigan colleges with degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). The current system makes it very difficult for these students to stay in the United States, and most often they must use their advanced degrees to work for foreign competitors. These changes could create an influx of investment and talent to Michigan, helping to fuel high-tech jobs for the whole state.
Snyder’s proposals set up a stark contrast to states like Alabama and Georgia, where harsh immigration laws have hobbled their state’s agriculture industries, leading to millions of dollars in losses.
“Immigrants are important economic drivers here in Michigan. They bring talent, investment, and a powerful motivation to succeed that builds businesses and creates jobs for everybody. We’re glad to see that Governor Snyder understands that immigration is a key growth strategy for Michigan’s economy,” said Anand Kumar of MI-India.com and the Michigan Asian Pacific Islander American Commission.
The 2010 Census reported that Michigan was the only state to lose population in the last decade. That population loss is shrinking taxing rolls and leaving homes empty.
“On immigration, Governor Snyder gets it. The best and the brightest come from all across the world to study at our incredible universities. Let’s keep these talented young people here so they can build companies and raise their families. Business people from all across the world are knocking at America’s door—let’s make it easier for them to invest in Michigan and create jobs,” said Ryan Bates, Director of the Alliance for Immigrants Rights & Reform – Michigan.
Advocates plan to work with the Congressional delegation and build support for the proposals in Washington DC.

About Refugee:


About a month ago Bethany Refugee Services sent out an email thanking all that attended the Giving Pause/Pressing Play Art Auction, and letting you know that you were added to a mailing list that is meant to provide ways to foster support and engagement through opportunities to give, volunteer and advocate.
In accordance with this plan, we wanted to update you with a recent success story about our Medical Team. Refugee Services recently received grants totaling $125,000 to cover 2 years of initial funding for our new medical program. The Grand Rapids Community Foundation released an article highlighting the new clinic. It is attached below. Please check it out!

http://www.grfoundation.org/docs/publications/gg-Bethany_Christian_Services.pdf

Again, thank you for your continued interest in the refugees we serve. We greatly appreciate your support with an issue that we are so deeply dedicated to.





MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jane Bush, Mayor’s Office June 22, 2012 456-3168

City of Grand Rapids plans “Grand Crossings,” a Bridge Walk on Labor Day Monday, September 3,

2012, 8:00 a.m., Ah-Nab-Awen Park


You don’t have to go all the way to the Mackinac Bridge to join the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk.


Join your neighbors, invite your friends. Participants can walk as many as five miles, the equivalent of the Mackinac Bridge, and cross more than just one bridge. The route is wheelchair accessible and appropriate for all fitness levels. No sign-up is necessary. Please make sure you are physically able to participate. Mayor George K. Heartwell will lead the walk.


Grand Crossings steps off Labor Day, September 3, 2012, at 8:00 a.m., at Ah- Nab-Awen Park, near the corner of Pearl and Scribner, as part of the Active Michigan Summer initiative organized by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports.