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  • Recent Executive Order drafts have caused alarm among not only the immigrant community, but business leaders and economic development advocates, such as Global Detroit, who work with immigrants as a means of sparking regional growth and prosperity.


    In response to these proposed policies, which threaten to severely impact the rights of legal immigrants working in the United States, as well as the supply of talent to the American economy, we are launching our Global Detroit Champions for Growth campaign of local business and community leaders to highlight awareness of immigrants’ economic contributions, oppose weakening of existing immigration laws, and build stronger regional policies.

  • Champions for Growth Pledge

    Immigrants are powerful contributors to our job creation, economic growth, and regional prosperity.


    My organization/I support a strong, open, inclusive, and welcoming federal immigration system, anchored by the American Dream, that offers freedom, opportunity, and security to immigrants whose talent, hard work, and entrepreneurship can help build a more prosperous nation.


    My organization/I support Global Detroit's efforts to develop and implement local policies, practices, infrastructure, and innovative programs that will mobilize Metro Detroit’s immigrant potential.


    Click here to sign the pledge today.

  • Why You Should Sign The Pledge

  • 10 Ways to Get Involved

    You've signed the pledge. What's next?

    Share the Pledge

    Affirm your belief that Metro Detroit’s immigrant population adds to job growth and overall prosperity in Detroit’s business community. Share this statement with your friends and business partners.

    Hire Local Immigrants

    Support the Graduate Talent Retention Initiative by hiring immigrant students for your business.

    Affect Public Policy

    Contact your legislators to remind them that immigrants make communities more prosperous and dynamic.

    Be A Connector

    Volunteer to be a professional connector for immigrant and refugee professionals, as well as international students. Mentor an international student or professional.

    Tell Your Story

    Share how immigrant entrepreneurs have helped your business, your neighborhood and your economy.

    Host an Event

    Invite representatives from Global Detroit’s initiatives to address company meetings or information sessions on how immigrants fuel prosperity in Metro Detroit.

    Spread Legal Awareness

    Attend a citizenship workshop or offer legal counseling for new immigrants and students. 

    Create a Welcoming Community

    Work with neighbors in immigrant neighborhoods to foster diversity and economic growth.

    Show your Support

    Spread the word about Global Detroit’s partners and initiatives by sharing the Facebook and Twitter pages.

  • Now more than ever, it's crucial to support our immigrant neighbors and champion the contributions they make to our region. That's what our Champions for Growth campaign is all about. Our goal is to raise $15,000 in May.


    Your donation will revitalize neighborhoods, catalyze the growth and development of immigrant entrepreneurs, leverage international talent to fill regional businesses' unmet talent needs, and build a global region with competitive advantages in job creation, business growth, and community development. You will help us fuel neighborhood revitalization, talent recruitment and retention, and help make Detroit a globally competitive economy.


    Donate here today.


  • Why Immigrants are Important

    Population Growth

    No major U.S. city has rebounded from population loss without significant immigration growth.

    1. 29 of the nation’s 50 largest cities lost population from 1960-1980.[1]
    2. 14 of the 29 had population rebounds in the following 25 years (1980-2005).[2]
    3. There were no cities with population rebounds that did it without immigration growth.[3]
    4. All of the population growth in Michigan since 2010 is due to immigrants. Michigan’s population grew 45,000 between 2010 and 2015. All of that growth was due to immigrants, who grew by more than 64,000, reflecting a greater than 10% growth rate in five years. U.S.-born population in Michigan continued to decline by 19,000 over the period.[4]
    5. Immigrants are anchoring the stabilization of population numbers in Detroit. Mayor Duggan has said that his Administration should be judged on population growth. From 2010-2014, unfortunately, Detroit has lost 5.3% of its U.S.-born residents or 36,000 U.S.-born residents, but saw its immigrant population rebound 12.7% or by 4,400 residents.[5]

    [1] U.S. Census numbers evaluated by David Dyssegaard Kallick, Fiscal Policy Institute.

    [2] Ibid.

    [3] Ibid.

    [4] U.S. Census numbers.

    [5] U.S. Census numbers using the American Community Survey.

    Workforce and Talent

    Metro Detroit and Michigan’s workforce is rapidly aging. Immigrants can help counter that coming tsunami.

    1. 75% of Michigan’s immigrants are working-age (18-64) compared to 61% of U.S.-born Michigan residents.[1]
    2. 63% of new adult immigrants to Michigan over the last five years (2011-2015) possess at least a four-year college degree.[2] This is almost three times the rate for U.S.-born Michiganders, which is around 26%.
    3. 40-70% of all the graduate students in America in key STEM fields are international students.[3] International students and faculty had a role in over 70% of the patents produced by the University of Michigan and nearly 75% of the patents from America’s top research universities.[4] It is estimated that every foreign-born STEM worker in the U.S. economy who attained a graduate degree in the U.S. creates an additional 2.62 American jobs.[5]
    4. International students contribute over $1.1 billion in spending to the Michigan economy and are responsible for 13,722 direct jobs.[6]
    5. 30% of Michigan doctors are immigrants. 28% of software developers, 27% of miscellaneous agriculture workers, and 22% of mechanical engineers working in Michigan are immigrants.[7]
    6. All of the Nobel Prize winners in 2016 from the U.S. were immigrants.[8]

    [1] Migration Policy Institute Michigan State Data Profile at http://www.migrationpolicy.org/data/state-profiles/state/demographics/MI.

    [2] Jeanne Batalova, Michael Fix, and Ariel Ruiz Soto, “The Costs of Brain Waste among Highly Skilled Immigrants in Michigan,” Migration Policy Institute, December 2016, p. 1., as well as emails directly with Ms. Batalova. All such estimates are based on U.S. Census data.

    [3] Stuart Anderson, “The Importance of International Students to America,” National Foundation for American Policy, July 2013, p. 1.

    [4] “Patent Pending: How Immigrants Are Reinventing the American Economy,” Partnership for a New American Economy, June 2012.

    [5] Madeline Zavodny, “Immigration And American Jobs,” American Enterprise Institute and the Partnership For A New American Economy, December 2011, p. 4.

    [6] “Michigan Benefits from International Students,” NAFSA Association of International Educators, Fall 2015.

    [7] “The Contributions of New Americans in Michigan,” New American Economy, August 2016, pp. 8-10.

    [8] Rafael Bernal, “Amid Debate, All 2016 American Nobel Laureates Are Immigrants,” The Hill, October 10, 2016.



    Immigrants make up a major proportion of entrepreneurs in Michigan, driving economic growth and technological advancements.

    1. Immigrant entrepreneurs own more than 50% of laundries and grocery stores and 38% of restaurants, while owning 28% of all Main Street businesses nationwide.[3]
    2. 32.8% of Michigan high-tech firms launched between 1990-2005 were started by an immigrant.[4] Over half of all the billion dollar startups in the U.S. were started by immigrants.[5]
    3. The entrepreneurship rate of immigrants is three times higher in Michigan than that of native-born Michiganders.[1] More than 150,000 Michiganders work at firms owned by immigrants.[2]
    4. 41% of the Fortune 500 companies were started by an immigrant or direct descendant (the New American Fortune 500).[6]
    5. 50.5% of U.S. firms who make at least half of their revenues through exports are owned by immigrants.[7]

    [1] Robert Fairlie, “Estimating the Contribution of Immigrant Business Owners to the U.S. Economy,” Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, November 2008, p. 31.

    [2] “The Contributions of New Americans in Michigan,” New American Economy, August 2016, p. 2.

    [3] David Dyssegaard Kallick, “Bringing Vitality to Main Street: How Immigrant Small Businesses Help Local Economies Grow,” Fiscal Policy Institute and Americas Society/Council of the Americas, January 2015, p. 2.

    [4] Vivek Wadhwa, AnnaLee Saxenian, Ben Rissing, and Gary Gereffi “America’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs” Duke University and University of California-Berkeley, January 4, 2007, p. 13

    [5] Stuart Anderson, “Immigrants and Billion Dollar Startups,” National Foundation for American Policy, March 2016, p. 1.

    [6] “The ‘New American’ Fortune 500,” Partnership for a New American Economy, June 2011, p. 6.

    [7] Robert Fairlie, “Open for Business: How Immigrants Are Driving Small Business Creation in the United States,” Partnership for a New American Economy, August 2012, p. 11.


    Taxes and Spending Power

    Immigrants are a critical part of Michigan’s economy and pay their fair share in taxes.

    1. In 2014, Michigan’s immigrants earned $19.6 billion and provided $14.2 billion in spending power after paying taxes. Michigan’s immigrants are 18.6% more likely to work than U.S.-born Michiganders.[1]
    2. Michigan’s immigrants provided $1.5 billion in state and local taxes, as well as $3.8 billion in federal taxes. They also contributed $1.9 billion in Social Security taxes, as well as $507.5 million in Medicare tax payments.[2

    [1] “The Contributions of New Americans in Michigan,” New American Economy, August 2016, pp. 5-6.

    [2] “The Contributions of New Americans in Michigan,” New American Economy, August 2016, p. 5.


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  • Contact Us

    4444 Second Avenue
    Detroit, MI 48201