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Immigrant Heritage Month and World Refugee Awareness Week Highlight the Importance of Smart Federal, State, and Local Immigration Policies

The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) is celebrating the enormous positive impact that immigrant communities continue to make in helping build a stronger, more vibrant region. The impact will be highlighted as part of Immigrant Heritage Month and World Refugee Awareness Week, taking place June 14 – 20.

“Our region is better in so many ways thanks to the enormous contributions being made by our immigrant communities,” said Tim Daman, president & CEO, LRCC. “In addition to the rich diversity immigrant families bring to our region, immigrant business owners strengthen our economy and revitalize our neighborhoods.”

According to the Kauffman Entrepreneurial Index, immigrants are nearly twice as likely as U.S.-born individuals to become entrepreneurs. In Michigan, while immigrants (including refugees) make up six percent of the overall population, immigrant business owners are helping power the economy. They are bringing jobs and resources to neighborhoods across the state.

LRCC has a well-established track record of partnerships to advance the cause of immigrant communities in the region. St. Vincent Catholic Charities (STVCC) Refugee Resettlement program focuses on helping refugees achieve economic independence. Since 1975, STVCC has resettled 20,000 refugees in the Lansing region.  LRCC also partners at the New American Economy, a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies.

“Some of the state’s largest and most vibrant communities are where a majority of the immigrants live and work, including Lansing,” said Daman. “Attracting more immigrants to our region is an essential component of our economic development efforts and is key to becoming the world-class region we all desire.”