Michigan universities offer help for undocumented students


Capital News Service

LANSING — Several public university officials in Michigan said they will continue to work to keep tuition rates lower and campuses friendly for undocumented students, even as the federal government launches policies that are viewed as unfriendly to many immigrants.

President Donald Trump ordered the construction of a Mexican border wall on Jan. 25 and is expected to curtail immigration, which has caused stress among undocumented students.

In 2012, President Barack Obama launched the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which granted undocumented immigrants work permits and temporary residency, a status that must be renewed every two years.

As of September 2016, Michigan had nearly 11,000 approved DACA recipients and was ranked 24th in the nation, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Continue reading

State’s ag exports to China skyrocket

Capital News Service

LANSING — In the past five years, more and more of Michigan’s dairy products and prepared fruits and vegetables have been on their way to China, according to export data from Euromonitor International Ltd.

From 2010 to 2014, the dollar value of dairy product exports to China skyrocketed 688 percent, according to the London-based economic analysis firm. In that same time period, the dollar value of prepared fruit and vegetable exports, which include dried tart cherries, rose almost four-fold.

Chris Wolf, a professor of agricultural, food and resource economics at Michigan State University, said U.S. dairy products — specifically powdered milk — took hold in the Chinese market following that country’s baby formula scandal in 2008.
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International students with startups face visa difficulties

Capital News Service

LANSING—International students face daunting challenges starting a business.
But as more and more international students enroll at Michigan universities, more and more keep trying to open businesses in the state.

And the Small Business Association encourages their idea.

For example, Grand Valley State University has 400, Western Michigan University has more than 1,800, and Michigan State University has more than 7,000 international students.
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Michigan aims to capture Chinese tourist market


Capital News Service

LANSING — The number of Chinese travelers and the amount of money spent per visitor are the highest among all groups of international visitors, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

This potential tourism market is capturing the attention of Michigan’s government.

For the first time, Gov. Rick Snyder included tourism in the agenda of his recent investment mission to China and touted Michigan’s potential as a destination for international travelers.
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New visa rules mean increased efforts to attract Chinese visitors to Michigan

Capital News Service

LANSING — The U.S. is making it easier for Chinese residents to visit the United States, and Michigan is working hard to take advantage of this new economic opportunity.

Leisure visas into the United States from China are now good for 10 years, which makes it cheaper and easier for Chinese tourists to come and go. A rising economy and growing upper middle class mean Chinese visitors can stay longer and spend more than they used to, tourism officials said.

About 1.8 million Chinese tourists traveled to the U.S. in 2013, according the U.S. Office of Travel & Tourism Industries. In 2014, a little over 1.9 million had visited by October.
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Refugees increase, face education, language hurdles


Capital News Service

LANSING — The world has a growing number of displaced people driven from their homes because of conflict, more than ever before, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. For the 86 percent of them in developing countries, that means increasingly limited access to quality education.

“Education is vital in restoring hope and dignity to young people driven from their homes,” the agency said.

But even refugees living in Michigan may face serious obstacles in obtaining education, experts say.
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Turkey should help Syrians, Turkish students here say


Capital News Service

LANSING – The Syrian town of Kobani, a predominantly Kurdish city by the Turkish border, has been under assault by the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) since mid-September, leaving about 800 dead and 300,000 displaced from their homes.

While airstrikes led by the U.S. have supported ongoing resistance by Kurdish forces in the region, Kurds say Turkey’s collaboration by opening its borders with Syria and Iraq is central to saving Kobani.

“We ask for nothing from the Turkish government but this,” says Ruken Sengul, a Turkish Kurd postdoctoral fellow in the Armenian Studies program at the University of Michigan.
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Ukraine supporters hope election leads to EU


Capital News Service

LANSING — The victory of pro-European parties in the recent election in Ukraine is inspiring hope among Michigan’s Ukrainian residents that the country will eventually become a member of the European Union.

The Communist Party won’t have a seat in the new parliament for the first time since the country’s independence from the Soviet Union.

“The results are a strong statement,” said Vera Andrushkiw of Troy and vice president of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation in Washington, D.C.
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EU membership will elude Turkey, Michigan Turks say


Capital News Service

LANSING — Turks in Michigan say they’re not hopeful about the success of an initiative by the new government of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to accelerate negotiations to win European Union membership for Turkey.

In the second cabinet meeting after Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s election as president, “the focus and primary agenda was the European Union,” said Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc.

Arinc outlined a three-step plan to begin this year as “a new but scheduled course of action” to be carried out within five years. The strategy aims at preparing Turkey for EU membership by 2019.
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MSU students watch Hong Kong protest with eye on future


Capital News Service

LANSING – Vicky Lee, a sophomore in human development and family studies at Michigan State University, had slept less than four hours in three days.

“Every time I am going to sleep, there is something big that happened there,” she said of the current protests in Hong Kong against the Chinese government concerning the procedure for electing the region’s chief executive.
She is one of about three dozen students from Hong Kong at MSU, according to its Office for International Students and Scholars.

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has decided that Hong Kong residents can elect their chief executive from a field of two to three candidates in 2017. Before that election, however, candidates must get more than half the votes of a nomination committee.
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