Gov. Snyder wants 50K immigrant workers to move to Detroit

Michigan governor wants 1/4 of visas issued nationwide reserved for Detroit

DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is promoting a plan to bring 50,000 immigrant workers to Detroit over the next five years.

He is asking the federal government to reserve for the city 1/4 of visas issued nationwide for highly skilled and educated immigrants.

Snyder unveiled the proposal Thursday at the Ideal Group in southwest Detroit. The company employs 500 workers.

"For roughly every immigrant job with high skills, they create over two and a half additional jobs," said the governor.

Snyder told Local 4 that there is no precedent for reserving work visas for a specific area of the country. He has no commitments from the Obama administration, but will lobby them during a trip to Washington D.C. He is scheduled to fly there Thursday night.

Earlier this month in his State of the State address, Snyder called for an Office for New Americans.

Thursday morning, Snyder said this latest proposal would "send a message to the world that this is a great place to be."

He was joined in Detroit by Mayor Mike Duggan, who believes most Detroiters would welcome a new wave of immigrants.

"You can find pockets of us versus them," said Duggan. "There was a time when that attitude dominated. Now there is a commitment to unity."