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United States Businesses Technology

Detroit Wants Its Own High-Tech Visa 398

dcblogs writes "Detroit, a city in bankruptcy and dealing with a shrinking population, hopes to turn itself around with the help of 50,000 employment-based green cards. In exchange for the visa, an immigrant would be required to 'live and work' in Detroit for an undetermined length of time. The visas would be made available under the EB-2 visa category, a visa for advanced degree professionals or those deemed with 'exceptional ability' in the sciences, arts and business. The proposal was made by Michigan's governor, Rick Snyder. Daniel Costa, an immigration policy analyst at Economic Policy Institute, said Snyder would have more credibility on the issue if he were doing more to help workers in Detroit. In 2011, the state cut jobless benefits by six weeks to 20. 'I also think the federal government should be offering people in the U.S. some money and land in Detroit if they'll move there,' said Costa, or 'just offer it to people across the country who have advanced degrees.'"
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Detroit Wants Its Own High-Tech Visa

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  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:24AM (#46080647) Homepage Journal

    Here's the problem with importing more and more workers: They're going to get fucked by the Big Boys just like the rest of is. I have no illusions about this.

    How about Dan Costa's idea? If the feds want Detroit to live, offer business grants to get people to open up shop there, give the existing population work (instead of just importing more people), and give them the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty.

  • That is just dumb (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:28AM (#46080685)

    If Detroit had 50.000 job positions for advanced degree professionals or those deemed with 'exceptional ability' in the sciences, arts and business, then it would not be in the shit-hole it currently is in.

  • Colonialism??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jplourde ( 1972558 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:36AM (#46080755)
    Doesn't using the phrase "an immigrant would be required to 'live and work' in Detroit for an undetermined length of time" sound a lot like an indentured labour program? It seems awfully familiar to what the Brits did to/in India during the 1800s (
  • by operagost ( 62405 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:39AM (#46080795) Homepage Journal
    The Democratic Party should be the one imploding, not the GOP-- but the offer of free handouts is a tough one to campaign against. It's amazing how most failing cities have been under de facto on-party rule for decades, yet that party has managed to blame the other one for all its ills.
  • by ebrandsberg ( 75344 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:40AM (#46080811)

    I think the idea is that if they have visas to hand out to companies, the companies will be willing to put offices in Detroit for those people to work in. From there, services will be needed from the lower-skill people in the area, think food service, etc. This will then eat into the 17.1% unemployment. The problem isn't the number of workers but the type and skill of the workers, and getting things back in balance. I'm not sure this is the right solution to the problem, but I am willing to consider that it may be A solution to the problem for now.

  • by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:44AM (#46080855)

    So just like LA, NYC, SF, etc...

    With the possible exception of infrastructure, you obviously don't know jack about LA, NYC or SF. In case your name is Rip van Winkle, crime rates have been steadily declining for the last 20 years. Maybe you're worried about hippies too. Sorry, but none have been seen in the wild since the 1970's (and they were passe then).

  • "barring an advance in desalination,"
    actually we can do it now with desalination, no advancement really needed.

    ", Detroit, and Michigan in general, will be relevant again"
    nope, never happen. Crappy weather, high crime, republican stripping away representation for all but about 50,000 people, no industry... nothing really.
    It's a City, and state, mostly built on 1 industry that is now global.

    And when the mid est dries up, well, the human race as we know it will be on the way out.

  • by Slashdot Parent ( 995749 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:51AM (#46080915)

    How are you going to convince someone with an advanced degree to settle in effing Detroit? They are going to want to escape the poverty of the third world!

    The problem facing Detroit is not a lack of people with advanced degrees. The problem is decades of life under a corrupt mayor, high crime, crushing taxes, over-regulation, and shitty weather.

    The situation is improving a lot lately, but it has a long way to go. You can't solve this overnight by issuing a bunch of visas. Detroit needs to get serious about redevelopment, crime prevention, and attracting business. Once there are good jobs there, you'll have plenty of Americans with advanced degrees going there. I don't have to remind you that we're in the midst of a "jobless recovery".

    All of these things are happening already. It's just a slow process to undo decades of mismanagement.

  • by generic_screenname ( 2927777 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:56AM (#46080985)
    The unemployment rate varies by sector. Unemployment in manufacturing is very high for obvious reasons. Unemployment in sectors like IT is much lower, partly because it's so hard to convince talent to relocate to Detroit and/or stay in the area.
  • What am I missing? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wcrowe ( 94389 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:58AM (#46081001)

    Am I missing something here? Who are these 50,000 people supposed to work for? The article vaguely mentions them, "opening businesses", but I have to ask, open businesesses doing what?

  • by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:03PM (#46081057)

    It's the Republicans' fault that Detroit is in the state that it's in?

    Detroit has had one-party Democrat rule for more than two generations.

  • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:06PM (#46081083) Homepage Journal

    The idea that big business=everything is bullshit and backward. Big business is not supporting life in the US any longer and hasn't for years.

    The idea is to make your city and town a place that isn't a hellhole for the creative. Stop giving tax abatements to huge corporations that are actually employing few workers and who are often seeing NEGATIVE taxation. Start giving some help to the small businesses instead of the big ones.

    Of course this takes deep thinking and common sense which are at all time lows in the USA right now.

  • by stewbee ( 1019450 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:24PM (#46081265)
    I grew up in what most people would call Detroit. More specifically, in the Detroit metropolitan area. I left Michigan in 2004 when I finished college, and I have an advanced degree (MSEE). I actually have started to apply to jobs back in Michigan. There are a few reasons for this.

    1. There are a lot of jobs there right now. Seriously, go to monster and search for engineering jobs in Detroit and Ann Arbor.
    2. The cost of living is ridiculously low. We are talking great 3-4 bedroom houses in nice areas for around 250k. In most tech job locations around the country (Boston, Silicon Valley, etc), this doesn't buy you squat. other things are much cheaper too, like food and gas compared to where I am living now.
    3. I still have family there, so it would be nice to be able to make a quick drive to see my relatives.

    Now that said, there is certainly a certain type of person they are looking for in these jobs that makes getting past the HR filters difficult. Many of open positions are looking for people that have had automotive experience before, which I don't have. So in spite of having many of the other qualifications, I think that I will have a difficult time for this reason alone.

    And I hate to have to say this over and over again to people, but Detroit is just one city in the area. While I agree that Detroit has been mismanaged, the rest of the area is quite nice and look forward to moving back someday.
  • by Migraineman ( 632203 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:40PM (#46081459)
    This isn't a natural disaster. This is the result of *decades* of mismanagement and corruption. If the system is so broken that is cannot be repaired, and fighting the system is an unwinnable battle, your only viable solution is to leave. And that's what you're seeing here. People are leaving Detroit en masse.

    Detroit is a city, but it is far from being an essential resource. If it imploded tomorrow, I doubt it would be more than an interesting news tidbit for the rest of the nation.

    Finally, it's clear that you don't comprehend freedom. Freedom includes the ability to royally screw yourself by making one bad decision after another. Detroit has made many bad decisions over the years, and it is completely outside the pervue of the US Federal government to step in and mandate that the rest of the nation support a city or to dictate how a city is run ... regardless of how poorly the locals are running it.
  • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:51PM (#46081551) Homepage

    And nothing that Detroit has to offer except being close to Canada would appeal to me, and that's just not enough. Doesn't matter what they pay me or what conditions that are offered, it's probably safer to go to Afghanistan anyway.

  • by kenh ( 9056 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @01:01PM (#46081711) Homepage Journal

    Republican politicians were neither 'the' nor 'a' reason Detroit was mis-managed. Literal decades after decades of single-party rule robbed the locals of any need for their politicians to defend/justify their actions, so they went off the rails in a spectacular fashion.

    The ONLY blame you can heap on Republicans in Detroit would be for letting the Democrats run the city by failing to win more elections... But are we really going to blame the loser of an election for the actions of the winner?

  • by penglust ( 676005 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @01:49PM (#46082409)
    So instead of using those powers to fix the issues preventing American workers from considering moving to Detroit you want to bring in immigrants who have no idea of the problems and force them to stay there or be deported. If it gets worse then send them home.

    This is at best a band aid on a gaping wound.
  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @01:55PM (#46082519)

    And nothing that Detroit has to offer except being close to Canada would appeal to me, and that's just not enough.

    I'm pretty sure you've never actually spent any time in Detroit or you'd realize what you just said is very ignorant. Yes Detroit has its problems but it's hardly the hell hole it is made out to be. There are excellent employers, plenty of entertainment within easy reach, great restaurants, and more. Plus you have easy access to the Great Lakes, Michigan and Canada which are all amazing. I could easily see myself living in downtown Detroit under the right circumstances. I live not far from Detroit as it is and I go downtown regularly. Like any big city it has its nicer areas and other areas you probably should steer away from. People go downtown all the time for sporting events (Lions, Tigers and Red Wings), cultural events (DIA), casinos, restaurants and more.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @01:55PM (#46082521) Homepage

    Not only left Detroit, but left the state. Michigan is a job desert and has been since 2001. Grand Rapids is now the largest city and has some opportunities but only in Medical. The whole state is swirling the toilet and has been for over 2 decades due to the worthless leadership we have had in the past 3 governors and elected officials.

    Lansing is a toilet, Everything south of lansing is worse (Flint included), and everything up I-75 to the bridge is also dead or dying. Saginaw is a cesspool as bad as Flint and Detroit.

    The state is dying, our current moron governor cant even control his GOP state congress who are passing bills that are anti citizen and anti worker in every way. They "claim" to attract jobs, yet more and more companies flee the state every day.

    It's sad because it is a pretty place to live but the roads are crap, the bridges are falling down and the government is complete inept from the state level down to the township level.

  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @02:29PM (#46082979) Homepage Journal

    Combine this with Detroit being a one industry town that got hurt bad when that industry faced a downturn. Seattle used to have much the same problem in that Boeing was the big employer. When it had problems the city had problems.
    Detroit has a lot of problems.
    1. Corruption. The city government and unions are both corrupt and mutually reenforcing. Make Michigan a right to work state. The unions have not done a good job keeping people working.
    2. Crime. The level of crime in Detroit is several times the nation average and is a lot worse than San Francisco which also has an issue with Crime. Here is the comparison between Detroit and San Francisco []

    The easy solution for Detroit would be a lot of money. Start tearing down parts of the city and building green spaces Keep expanding the people mover and M1 street car line for better transportation and extend them to the universities, the airport and so on. Fiber to the door every where, offer incentives for people to build homes and apartments. Do not forget the well light sidewalks and bike paths. The problem is all that takes money which Detroit does not have.

  • by naris ( 830549 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @03:44PM (#46083955)

    I have lived in Detroit and paying an extra tax so that I have no police, no fire department, no streetlights, no security, no infrastructure and unplowed streets is just not appealing. Especially when you can live 8 or more miles north to live in a better area without the drawbacks or the extra tax.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.