Washington, D.C. – Today, Business Forward Foundation issued a report, We Are Not Full, highlighting the cost of President Trump’s immigration policies on Michigan’s economy.

“President Trump argues that America is full – that we can’t handle any more immigrants,” said Jim Doyle, president of Business Forward Foundation. “Michigan’s real problem is declining birth rates, a shrinking workforce, and small towns that are losing young workers to big cities.”

Michigan is older than the national average, and it’s aging faster. Without a steady flow of new immigrants, Michigan’s economy could fall into a reinforcing cycle of job losses, lower investment, and falling property values. Over time, an aging, shrinking population hurts schools, pensions, infrastructure, and economic opportunity.

“To appreciate just how dangerous Trump’s ‘we’re full’ approach could be, we should compare its impact to immigration reform proposals that national, non-partisan business groups have offered,” explained Doyle. “A balanced approach to immigration proposed by the Business Roundtable would grow Michigan’s economy by $16.7 billion over ten years, while ‘restrictive’ policies could cost Michigan $10.3 billion over that same period. That’s a swing of $27 billion.”

The report’s key findings include:

  • Seniors in Michigan will outnumber minors by 2025 – 7 years before the national average.
  • Michigan’s currently ranks 43rd in the nation in business dynamism, a measure that reflects the rate of new business formation and frequency of labor market turnover.
  • Immigrants contribute a net $1.9 billion to Michigan’s economy through tax and income contributions less the cost of public services.
  • Michigan has a shortage of doctors that will only get worse as the population ages. Immigrants, who represent 6% of Michigan’s population but 30% of its doctors, can help close the health care labor gap.
  • There are more than 33,000 immigrant entrepreneurs across the state and they have created 167,000 new jobs.
  • A balanced approach to immigration would create 177,000 new jobs in Michigan, while restrictive policies could cost the state 115,000 jobs – a difference of 292,000 jobs.


This report is the first in a series of state issue briefs highlighting the cost of President Trump’s costly immigration policies on the economy.



The Business Forward Foundation is an independent research and education organization that takes a business-minded look at policy issues affecting America’s economic competitiveness. Our work combines insights and advice from business leaders across the country with rigorous policy analysis. Through white papers, issue briefs, conference calls, and other events, we educate policy makers and the public about climate change, immigration reform, infrastructure investment, the future of work, and other critical issues.