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June 05, 2006 - Image 1

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-06-05

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Arts 9 Aniston and Vaughn's
off-screen chemistry
lost in translation
Sports 13 'M'-Nine's season
comes to an end

be £irbtgun 1tai g

Monday,June 5, 2006
Summer Weekly

agains tl ttttJIIL One-hundred-sixteen years ofeditoonialfreedom
www.michigandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan ! Vol. CXVI, No. 121 ©2006 The Michigan Daily
N iNew center aims to
Y gy improve state economy

To avoid "political squabbling," Center
for Michigan founder Phil Power assembles
an array of politically diverse experts
By Walter Nowinski
Daily Staff Reporter
Michigan is broken.
The state's economy is stagnant, young people are fleeing
the state and the political process is in paralysis, according to
the Center for Michigan, a new self-described centrist "think-
and-do-tank."
As stated in its first report, the think tank aims to develop a
broadly acceptable long-term strategic agenda for the rebirth
of the state's economy.
Michigan's economy has been floundering since 2000, and
the state's unemployment rate - 7.3 percent - is among the
highest in the nation.
Phil Power, a former University regent and member of former
Michigan Gov. James Blanchard's cabinet, founded the center
earlier this year. In an open letter to the state of Michigan, Power
said he created the think tankbecause currentpolicies and political
institutions are failing to provide solutions to the state's troubles.
"Without fundamental changes in Michigan's business, policy
and political climate, Michigan will almost certainly face a long,
sad period of decline," Power wrote.
Although Power ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for U.S. Sen-

ate in 1978 and was elected to the University's Board of Regents as a
Democrat, he said the group intends to be "aggressively moderate."
He said he wants the think tank to be as non-ideological as pos-
sible, because much of the paralysis in Lansing today is due to
political squabbling.
Power assembled an ideologically diverse steering committee,
which includes former University Provost Paul Courant, liberal
political analyst Jack Lessenberry and Republican Congressman
Joe Schwarz, to guide the think tank's agenda.
Although the Center for Michigan has not yet outlined any
specific policy proposals, it has developed a broad outline of the
problems facing the state and offered general suggestions about
what needs to be done to address them at a kick-off conference
earlier this year.
The University's Ford School of Public Policy co-hosted the
conference, titled "Where do we go from here?"
While the participants in the conference did not agree on any spe-
cific proposals, there was general agreement on a few key ideas.
First and foremost, the state can no longer rely on a low-skilled
manufacturing sector for its future prosperity, the group said.
Instead, the participants said the state needs to transition to amore
knowledge-based economy.
The state must also increase its funding for higher education in
order to build a more educated workforce - even if that means
increasing taxes, they said.
Currently, about 24 percent of Michigan residents have
a four-year college degree. That number lags behind the
See CENTER, Page 8

Phil Power is the founder of the Center for Michigan, a new
"aggressively moderate" think tank that is developing strategies to
remedy Michigan's economic woes. Power has had a long-spanning
political career including running for U.S. Senate in 1978 and serving
as a University Regent.

Federal agency
detains illegals
ICE operations persist as It's early Friday afternoon, and sun-
light pours through a window onto two
an influx of migrant workers grey tables with stainless steel chairs in
the dorm-room-sized cell.
arrives for growing season The man, about 20 years old, says he
is a student at Ferris State University.
By Leah Graboski He is tall and slight, with short dark
Daily News Editor hair and dark eyes. He wears street
clothes and speaks with a Middle East-
On the corner of Mt. Elliot and E. ern accent.
Jefferson in Detroit sits a gated brtck After locking up the cell and walking
building that was dedi- away, Baker says the man
cased to Rosa Parks last ,probably dropped out of
year. During the Civil War, school to find work. Baker
the building was used as a cannot be certain because
hospital and morgue. The he is not aware of this man's
sign at the entrance reads: situation. But he says it is
"Federal Building: U.S. common for foreigners to
Department of Homeland come to the United States
Security' Mwith student visas and then
Inside is a holding cell Last in a three- leave school to find work.
used to detain undocument- part series In another room,a womnan
ed individuals, is interviewing a nan and
Robin Baker, the field office direc- woman recently captured by ICE. EUGENE ROBERTSON/Da
for for Detention and Removal Opera- Down the hall, there is a large Robin Baker is a field office director of Detention
tions within ICE, unlocks the cell's office space. Many of the employees' Removal Operations for the Unites States immigration
door, where a single man stands in the desks are empty. and Customs Enforcement. The office recently raided
far corner. See IMMIGRATION, Page 2 Detroit homes in search of illegal immigrants.

A United States Homeland Security vehicle is parked
outside of the Rosa Parks Federal Building on Jeffersog
Avenue in Detroit. The building houses cells to detain
illegal immigrants.

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