Challenging Times 

In a uniquely challenged state it’s hard for some to imagine how we can welcome newcomers into this environment.  But when it comes to the role of immigrants in our economy, it’s clear that the dynamic entrepreneurial energy immigrants bring means it’s not an “I win, you 

lose” proposition.  When our children learn the history of Michigan, they learn a lot about the people who came to this state long ago looking for a new home.  As much as we cherish our immigrant past and the story of the African-American great migration, we know that those immigrants and migrants weren’t always made to feel welcome when they a rrived.  But now we have the advantage of hindsight, and we can get it right this time in a way that will benefit us all.  Part of it is competitive advantage:  the most energetic and capable people will choose the places where they feel most welcome.  Part of it is common sense:  Being hostile to newcomers is a waste of our time and energy.  And part of it is simple right and wrong:  how would we want our children treated if they had to move away to find a better life? It all adds up to an opportunity to live up to our own values and be a state that welcomes immigrants today that we’ll brag about tomorrow.