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.
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.
MSU freshman Pamela Quintana descibes her mother as hardworking, kind and community-oriented. “Everyone who knows her loves her,” said Quintana. “She’s known throughout the community…she’s a very hands-on mom, always taking care of her kids.” Every day, she wakes up at 5 a.m. She cleans as many as five homes a day to make ends meet. And she tries to return home at 5 p.m to see the kids she works hard to support.
Dave Carpenter has cut hair for approximately 49 years between the city of Mason and Delhi Township. He runs the small Rams Barber Shop now, located on the front lawn of 1940 Aurelius Road. It’s brown and trimmed in yellow, the colors of the local Holt High School. There’s a singular chair for patrons and a singular mirror. He reclines in it watching the news, fitting the stereotype of what old men do in their free time.
It is official; the Lansing City Council has unanimously voted and declared Lansing a sanctuary city. Prior to the meeting on April 3 where the vote took place, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero released an executive order that clarified policies in place for city officials and law enforcement to more effectively protect immigrant and refugees in the community. In Bernero’s executive order, he stated the following:
“We are confident these new policies do not violate federal law, but we are also prepared to take legal action to protect the prerogatives and powers of local government and local law enforcement,” Bernero said. “We do not want our local police to become de facto immigration agents— especially under the divisive and draconian direction of the Trump administration.”
The council agreed. “I think is one time that the city of Lansing has got it right; we are aligned and I think this addressed all the things we are getting in our emails, within our phone calls, within our conversations,” Council Member Judi Brown Clarke said at the meeting Monday.
The Quello Center at Michigan State University debates communication policy. Director William Dutton says that the potential policy changes regarding who can access browsing history is not something for consumers to worry about. The House and Senate voted to revoke laws that make it so an Internet Service Provider can not sell browser history to third parties. Web-based sites like Facebook and Google already do this. The policy that is trying to be removed was in place for around 6 months, according to Dutton.
Antonio Baker stands behind the counter of Biggby Coffee located on 1701 S. Waverly Road, and prepares an iced coffee drink for a customer. He has few worries while he’s focused on his job. One of them definitely isn’t health care, at least not today. Biggby Coffee is one company that does not offer part time health benefits to its employees, which isn’t uncommon for part-time employees, according to healthcare.gov, “Employers aren’t required to provide health insurance for part-time employees, even if they provide coverage for full-time employees. ”
Therefore, Baker remains a dependent with his health care being covered under his parent’s insurance.
Federal policy about which restrooms and locker rooms transgender students may use has been reversed, awakening civil rights activists. The latest development occurred March 6, when Supreme Court sent a case about the issue back to a lower court in Virginia.
The New York Times, CNN and other press organizations were barred from attending a non-televised briefing at the White House on Feb. 24, according to The Washington Post. The situation raised questions about the First Amendment rights of the press and alarmed many journalists and media organizations.
The Lansing City Council continues to delay actions that would declare Lansing a sanctuary city. City Council Member Judi Brown Clarke says the council needs more time to look at the language and get legal opinion on President Donald Trump’s recent executive order. “We are still on hold,” Clarke said. While Lansing continues to hold off with a new resolution on immigration policies, earlier this month East Lansing affirmed a resolution declaring the city a safe haven for refugees. Clarke says that Lansing’s current policies are similar to East Lansing’s recent resolution.