Last week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced to his state’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that an Arizona-style immigration law in Michigan would “encourage a divisive atmosphere.” According to Fox News Latino, Snyder was referring to a bill that is pending in the state legislature that would get police more involved in checking the immigration status of people they pull over.
Snyder, who was elected to his post in November, has opined several times that Michigan needs immigrants; the state’s economy has been among the hardest-hit in the country. In a talk earlier this year to a Muslim group, Snyder said Michigan needed to attract more immigrants because of Census 2010 data that showed a steep decline in the state population. Latinos make up a growing community in Michigan. The state is also home to the country’s largest Arab and Muslim population.
According to published reports, Snyder said he was proud to say that he’s always encouraging the idea of more immigration – particularly for advanced degree people. “We need to celebrate diversity,” Snyder is reported to have said. “It’s one of our strengths.”