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Snyder says Michigan should take refugees

People moving from Syria into Turkey.
European Commission DG ECHO

Gov. Rick Snyder says he’d like Michigan to welcome more refugees fleeing war and violence in the Middle East.

The governor told the new Michigan Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs he’s already been in touch with the federal government.

“Shouldn’t we help people in need around the world and show that outreach because we would like to be treated that way if we ever found ourselves in that circumstance?” he asked. 

The governor says he’s also talking to local governments, business leaders, and refugee service providers on how many refugees the state could handle.

“It’s about having people come here and having a quality experience and become good Michiganders, and creating an environment where even more Michiganders that are here can have good jobs.”

Gov. Snyder is very pro-immigration and says he’d like to attract more immigrants to the state. He says one reason is immigrants are more likely than native-born Americans to start businesses that will employ more people.

The governor also says a lot of people trying to escape violence overseas are highly skilled and entrepreneurial. He says that’s also a reason to make Michigan, which already has one of the largest Middle Eastern populations in the country, even more welcoming to immigrants and refugees.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.