Snyder speaks at MSU, discusses international impact on Michigan
After returning from a 10-day investment mission in China and Japan, Gov. Rick Snyder addressed the importance of the international student base and immigration issues at a question-and-answer session Wednesday at Kellogg Center.
Snyder explained the impact international students and international students’ parents have on Michigan, both economically and culturally.
“For one, there’s an economic element, so that helps our economy in a very positive way. But there’s a huge cultural aspect,” Snyder said at the Michigan Partner Solutions Forum. “We need to learn from one another and work better together, and when we start completing that cycle, that’s when you start seeing the parents saying ‘Well, I have a company; I want to bring that to Michigan.’”
Snyder noted there are unnecessary barriers to immigration that he hopes to change.
“Our legal immigration system, let alone dealing with illegal immigrants in this country, is all messed up,” Snyder said. “For students, in particular in STEM, science, technology, engineering and math that are coming here for advanced degrees, we have an immigration system today that we say ‘Please come get your education from one of our great institutions,’ and what we do is give them that world class education and we tell them to get out — that’s dumb.”
Snyder noted these issues facing international connections must be addressed for growth. In particular, Snyder said international interest in Michigan has grown, particularly in the automotive industry.
“I was able to share that we have 61 of the top 100 North American auto suppliers in our state and 375 R and D (research and development) centers in Michigan that account for 70 percent of all of the R and D for the auto motive industry right here in the state of Michigan,” Snyder said. “So that really got their attention to say ‘Michigan is the place to be.’”