A statewide conference on making Michigan more welcoming to immigrants kicks off Monday in Lansing. Local officials will trade tips on how to make their communities more friendly to immigrants.
Gov. Rick Snyder will not be there. But he has taken a big interest in immigration policy, especially regarding the resettlement of refugees.
The governor last year called for a “pause” in refugee resettlements.
He says the federal government still needs to do a better job of reassuring the public about allowing more refugees into the country.
“They have quite a comprehensive vetting process. I think they need to be more proactive about transparency in that process and sharing information about how that process works because I think that could give people more confidence in the process,” said Snyder.
“Even knowing where refugees are coming, the timing of that, making sure communities are prepared for it, understand the issues and concerns. In some cases, it’s people showing up too much without enough participation from the broader community.”
A U.S. State Department spokesperson says the federal government is always working with local governments and refugee organizations to improve its operations. The spokesperson also says refugees are subjected to higher scrutiny than any other travelers to the country.