Michigan Governor Rick Snyder supports US immigration reform which would allow more overseas workers to remain in the country.
15 May 2012
Governor supports US immigration reform
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has spoken out as a supporter of US immigration reform, saying America needs to keep skilled workers and students in the country.
The Republican governor, who is considered a favourite on the short list for vice presidential nominee in presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's race for the White House, has supported US immigration reform which will allow more foreign nationals to remain in America.
"I am probably the most pro-immigration governor in the United States," said Governor Snyder. "I think we need to go back to what us a great country, which is encouraging people to stay in the US."
The governor said America had originally earned its economic strength in large part due to the waves of immigrants who entered the United States in search of a better life.
"We have immigration laws in the US set up now that say we're going to educate these really bright people to get a PhD in engineering and our policy is to tell them they have to get out [when they graduate]. How dumb is that?"
Governor Snyder's comments come during a time of tumultous debate over US immigration reform. While President Obama has restated his intention to seek the whole scale reform he promised as a presidential candidate in 2008, his failure to do so in his first term has been seen by many as a chance for Republicans to gain momentum in November's presidential election.
However, presumptive nominee Mitt Romney has trodden a harsh line on US immigration reform throughout the primaries and despite toning down his rhetoric in recent weeks, many still doubt his ability to appeal to Hispanic voters.
Hispanic voters are being touted as the crucial demographic come November due to large Latino populations in many of the so called 'swing states' which could determine the election: Florida, Ohio and Virginia particularly.
With Mr Romney still to pick his vice presidential nominee, or his running mate, for the campaign, many see it as a chance for the former Massachusetts governor to pick up some support from Hispanics by selecting an immigration reform supporter.
The longstanding favourite to run with Mr Romney had been Floridian Senator Marco Rubio, himself a son of Cuban immigrants, but his lack of support for his own immigration bill, which would grant children of illegal immigrants a non-immigrant US visa, may have damaged his chances.
As Governor Snyder has already endorsed Mr Romney's campaign and has a strong approval rate within his own state of Michigan, many see him as a major contender for the role, although with reaction to his immigration comments still to be heard, his credentials may be open to doubt.
The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries make their ESTA application.