Gov. Snyder, Mayor Duggan announce plan to bring 50,000 immigrants to Detroit to live and work

DETROIT (AP) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will ask the Obama administration to set aside thousands of work visas to attract talented immigrants to live and work in bankrupt Detroit.

The governor said at a news conference Thursday that he is seeking 50,000 visas solely for Detroit over five years.

The work visas currently aren't allocated by region or state. They go to immigrants with advanced degrees or who've shown exceptional ability in certain fields.

Snyder told The Associated Press before the news conference that a "key opportunity" to accelerate Detroit's comeback is attracting legal immigrants. He says the proposal is a way for the federal government to help without a cash bailout.

Snyder likens the idea to "national interest" waivers given to physicians who agree to work in underserved areas in exchange for a green card.

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