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Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce: Immigrants play a crucial role in local economy

Tuesday's immigrant strike in Grand Rapids
Bryce Huffman
Michigan Radio
Immigrants and supporters went on strike in Grand Rapids Tuesday.

More than 1,000 people marched through the streets of downtown Grand Rapids Tuesday in support of immigrants and protesting deportations.

Andy Johnston is the VP of government and corporate affairs for the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. He joined Stateside to explain how immigrants play a crucial role in the Grand Rapids economy.

“We know that immigrants play a critically important role in our community and the economy. Immigrants strengthen the quality of the talent pipeline, contribute to the local tax base, and create new businesses.”

Johnston says the Chamber advocates for long-term immigration reform, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is a key aspect of Tuesday’s protests.

Listen above to hear Johnston explain what immigrants mean to businesses in the state, the economic impact of the uncertainty surrounding DACA, and how the immigrant strike is affecting small businesses.

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