Become an Advocate

Become an Advocate

Help make Southeast Michigan more inclusive and more prosperous. Make the case for immigrant inclusion to policy, business and community leaders.


Start with these talking points:


No U.S. major metropolitan area that has lost population since the 1960s has stabilized or reversed course without immigration. In Michigan, immigrants account for all population growth in the last 30 years.


By intentionally including immigrants in our community and economic development strategies, we will spark growth, revitalization and sustained prosperity in Detroit and throughout Southeast Michigan.


International students and foreign-born workers can help meet our region’s workforce needs, especially around STEM talent and in areas of critical shortage due to an aging workforce.


Immigrants help stabilize neighborhoods through homeownership, the creation of small businesses and their contributions to community life.


Immigrants help make our civic life diverse and vibrant, creating the kind of region that attracts new residents and visitors, and compels those already here to stay.

Immigrant inclusion is essential to the economic growth of our region.

Consider this data:

  • Metro Detroit lost 220,000 U.S.-born residents (5 percent loss) between 2000-2015, while the immigrant population grew by 80,000 during that time (24 percent growth rate), helping to stave off that loss.
  • While the number of U.S.-born homeowners in the Great Lakes region fell 0.6 percent from 2000-2015, the number of immigrant homeowners in the region grew 36.5 percent during this period.
  • Between 2000-15, the number of U.S.-born entrepreneurs in Metro Detroit dropped by 8.5 percent, while the number of foreign-born entrepreneurs increased by 38 percent.
  • 33% of Michigan’s Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. Those firms generate $18.4 billion annually and employ 400,000 people.
  • 20% of Main Street business owners in Michigan are immigrants.
  • With the ninth largest international student population in the nation, Michigan currently educates more than 34,000 international students who contribute $1.2 billion annually to our economy. The majority are graduating in STEM fields.
  • Immigrants are bolstering the housing market by buying the wave of homes coming on the market as the baby boomers retire. In a state where seniors already own 29.3 percent of homes, immigrant families made up 7.7 percent of new homebuyers from 2010 to 2014— a larger than expected portion given their share of the population.