What Will the Senate Tax Bill Do to Graduate Students?

In a series of shocking twists and turns, Senate Republicans were able to pass their tax bill, their first legislative victory of the year. The Senate Tax bill calls for a mass overhaul of the American tax code. Everything from tax brackets, health care to graduate student loan rates were touched upon.

Lansing group holds trainings in support of immigrants

On Nov. 11, the Lansing Immigrant Defense group hosted a Rapid Response Training at the Foster Community Center to discuss actions to support immigrants and their families in the event of a deportation. The training discussed direct action tactics, risk and safety assessment and an overview of how rapid response fits into the larger picture of immigrant support in Lansing. In Lansing, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has made no deportations. However, group members said they believe that ICE will begin to amp up their actions in the Lansing community over the next few months.

How Old Town stays afloat

You will always find some type of event happening in Old Town. Why? The neighborhood doesn’t receive any money from the state so these events help raise funds to pay for everything from trash removal to hanging baskets. “We don’t actually get any funding from the state,” Old Town Commercial Association board president Jamie Schriner said. “The largest way that we raise funding is through putting on events.”

Schriner said these festivals include the Old Town Oktoberfest, ScrapFest, and the Chocolate Walk.

Fewer refugees are finding a new home in mid-Michigan

Since the beginning of 2017, there is a substantial decrease in the number of incoming refugees in Lansing. According to St. Vincent Catholic Charities, which is the designated refugee resettlement agency in Lansing and mid-Michigan, there were 248 refugees that arrived in Lansing during the last three months of 2016, but and there are only 83 refugees arrived STVCC in the first quarter of 2017. “We had around 776 refugees last year,” said Judi Harris, the refugee resettlement director at STVCC. “We expected the same number this year until the administration made all these changes, so now we will be lucky to get 450 this year.”

This change is not only happening in Lansing but all over the United States and it appears to follow the new presidency.

Traverse City dilemma: ‘Sanctuary City’ or not?

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Human Rights commissioners of Traverse City are allegedly looking to make the northwestern Michigan city more “immigrant-friendly.” One way of doing so would be to declare sanctuary status, or making TC known as a “Welcoming City.”

“There are jobs in Northern Michigan that need immigrants to take them,” says Mark Dixon, who has been a citizen of Traverse City for over 60 years. “Faming here, especially with the abundance of cherry crops, attracts a lot of immigrants, as well as some jobs at Munson, the local hospital.”

“This had never been an issue before (President Donald) Trump’s presidency,” says Dixon. “I think this is because he initially campaigned with restrictions to countries like Mexico by ‘building a wall’ across the border.”

Early in Trump’s presidency, an executive order attempted to withhold federal grants to sanctuary cities. However, at the end of April, a federal judge in San Francisco put a nationwide end to this.

Trump’s budget could result in defunding of Meals on Wheels

President Trumps 54 million dollar budget proposal cuts large parts of federal government funding which could potentially affect the disabled and senior citizens. In Ingham County alone meals on wheels delivers about five hundred thousand meals a year and has 21 different sites that volunteers work from. “I’m concerned that the seniors who are sitting in there homes and are hearing about the program being cut, how they’re feeling,” said Carl Buonodono Nutrition Director for Meals on Wheels. 

President Trumps budget plan will potentially cut the Older Americans Act and the Development Block Grant which equates to being about half of Meals on Wheels funding. 

This potential cut of funding would lead to there being less sites open which means those who receive food from the program will no longer be able to do so. This budget plan not only affects those who get meals but also those who deliver them. 90 year old Robert Mac-Kinnon who goes by Bob, has been a Meals on Wheels volunteer for 15 year and feels with out Meals on Wheels he wouldn’t get his daily joy of helping others.