DETROIT — President Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric are hurting the Michigan economy and are expected to cost over $1 billion in lost economic activity in 2017.
Using secondary research on decreased international tourism, international student enrollment, lost agricultural production and the threat of losing the workforce participation from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients in Michigan, Global Detroit estimates that the impact would be $1.157 billion less in yearly economic activity in Michigan.
”Travel bans, immigration raids, repealing DACA, and hateful rhetoric send the wrong message and serve to reverse the flow of new people, new ideas, new entrepreneurial energy, new investment, and new trade that have been the lifeblood of Michigan’s economic recovery in recent years,” said Global Detroit Director Steve Tobocman.
“Our best estimates indicate that the President’s rhetoric and policies are expected to cost the Michigan economy over $1 billion and hundreds of jobs, as well as some 3,000 international students and 2,000 refugees who won’t be coming here and spending dollars in our local economy.”
Using a variety of sources that have tracked a decrease in international tourism, as well as international student applications, Global Detroit has paired such loss with estimates of overall economic activity in those areas. Economic costs associated with losses in agriculture production and impacts from the repeal of the DACA Executive Order are taken from other sources. In addition to the specific estimates, Global Detroit has not sought to quantify the economic costs associated with resettling fewer refugees, although refugees represent 39 percent of the overall state population growth in 2015 and President Trump has cut the number of refugees being resettled in half.
President Trump has taken a number of actions that have contributed to these impacts. Beginning with anti-immigrant rhetoric during the campaign and during his administration, President Trump also has sought to implement a temporary travel ban against six Muslim countries, a significant curtailment of refugee resettlement, restrictions on the H-1B program for skilled immigrant workers, new reporting requirement for international students, delay in implementation of the “startup visa,” and recent repeal of the DACA program to be implemented in six months.
“These policies and the general tone have sent a message that the nation is no longer welcoming to a broad array of global citizens who would normally seek the American Dream,” Tobocman said.
He added, “While we join other partners across the state and nation in celebrating Welcoming Week and all of the progress that so many Michigan mayors, local elected leaders, business organizations, nonprofit organizations, and civic leaders, including Governor Snyder, have been working to make Michigan an immigrant-friendly state, it would be disingenuous not to call attention to the existential threat, as well as real and immediate impacts, President Trump’s policies and rhetoric are having.”