Grand Rapids, Mich. — West Michigan Republican Bing Goei has been chosen by Governor Rick Snyder to spearhead efforts to encourage more legal immigration in the state of Michigan in the interest of the economy.
Snyder signed an executive order at the Amway Grand Friday creating the Office for New Americans.
He appointed Bing Goei as the office’s director.
Douwe Driehuis, a student from the Netherlands who studies at Grand Valley says, “I like the United states and I’d prefer to stay here.”
He is a senior in the hospitality program.
Right now he admits, it looks like it may be tough for him to be able to remain in Michigan once his studies are over.
“The only route is marrying an American woman or getting a sponsorship by a company which is very difficult in my field,” said Driehuis.
The young man could benefit from the newly created Office for New Americans.
Goei is a fixture in the Grand Rapids community.
He is known for building the Eastern Floral empire into what it is today with several locations in West Michigan.
“I was so honored. I was shocked to be honest with you,” said Goei. “But, I really believe that you know, God has prepared me for this,” said Goei.
Goei is of Chinese heritage but was born in Indonesia.
He was an immigrant to the U.S. himself.He says as the director of the new office, he will be searching for answers on who they should target for assistance with immigration.
“Work with the chamber of commerce,” said Goei. “Say, ‘What do you hear from your members. What are the kinds of talent they need to fill the holes in their company that prevents them from growing at a rapid speed?’”
The governor says they will be targeting specific groups.
Those involved with STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Also, those who can support viable businesses and create jobs.”The key focus that we have announced are two groups in particular, one is for EB 5’s which are for entrepreneurship where basically you have people bringing capital to our country,” said Governor Snyder. “There are requirements that they actually create jobs and so that’ s one group. We’re looking to create a statewide EB5 center in MI. The other one is the Highly skilled immigrant program for Detroit, 50,000 highly skilled immigrants which are people with advanced degrees. science, tech. engineering and math. Again, we graduate a lot of those students already.” “These are clearly people that would be adding economic value to all of us,” said Snyder.
Mark Schauer, Snyder’s challenger for the governor’s office, says he is also for comprehensive immigration.
However, he says he’d like to see a focus on the 43,000 people in Michigan who are without jobs, and just lost their unemployment benefits.