Bing Goei to head new immigration office

6:36 PM, Jan 31, 2014   |    comments
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  • Gov. Snyder with GVSU international students

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has created a special office designed to attract legal immigrants to the state and has named the office's first director.

At a luncheon for the Michigan Press Association, Governor Snyder, held up a newspaper clipping from 1960. "It's about a family that had just arrived in the United States. They arrived in Grand Rapids, from a foreign country," said Snyder.

The young boy in the picture is Bing Goei, owner of Eastern Floral. Snyder called him the ideal person to run the Office for New Americans. Goei will be responsible for attracting legal immigrants to Michigan.

"Our focus is, how do we welcome people here legally? And that should apply to skilled immigrants and students we want to keep here," said Snyder. He hopes to attract immigrants with advanced degrees and workers with agricultural experience. "We need to have more agricultural workers. This past year we had stuff left on the trees, apple crops and other things."

Snyder signed an executive order creating the new office. Afterward, Bing Goei talked about his immigrant family. "That picture on the front page, when I look at that, I think of my mom and dad. My dad is not with us, my mom is, but is not doing well. And I think about the tremendous sacrifice they made; they left everything behind to benefit their children" said Goei.

He wants the same success for others and says anyone should have the chance to live the American dream.

Gov. Snyder recently asked the federal government to set aside thousands of work visas, in an effort to bring more immigrants to the city of Detroit.

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