March 10, 2017

Volume 3 Issue 7

State Representative Janel Brandtjen

Immigration reform: Safety, jobs and integrity.

Recently I wrote a column about the importance of our immigration laws and how they are intended to keep our communities safe.  Selective enforcement of our immigration laws hurts our communities. Below are three reasons why enforcement makes our country better. 

1. Public Safety- We all want to live in safe communities, if you are here legally or illegally. But the drug cartels are now worldwide sophisticated organizations profiting from drugs and weapons crossing into the huge US market. Our children and young adults have paid the price, in addiction. Mexican cartels have grown powerful, while Mexico doesnít have the money or law enforcement to retake the region. Itís up to the United States to enforce its border and keep unwanted criminals out of our neighborhoods. Safe communities for all immigrants is key to fostering business growth and development at a local level.

2. Protecting Jobs- We constantly hear talk of increasing the minimum wage, and the need for family supporting jobs. As long as we continue the practice of  allowing illegal aliens to enter the United States completely unrestrained, it will any drive down low skill wages. Lower-skilled men and women in their prime working years have already begun to leave the labor force creating labor force drop out. Working class families canít get ahead when illegal immigrants undermine the workforce.

 3. Integrity of legal immigration- Currently, our immigration system is set to add one million new residents to the United States each year. Immigrants pay a substantial financial amount to gain the coveted US citizen status. Citizenship which can take several years to accomplish comes with questioning, tests, background checks and a guaranteed support system. Our legal immigration system monitors the flow of immigrants and ensures the quality of the individuals who have pledged themselves to the United States and wish to assimilate. A willingness to assimilate as Americans is paramount.

Governor Walkerís UW-System budget proposals:

There can be little doubt that our conservative Governor has his hands full when dealing with the UW System. For the most part, colleges across the country have become involved with a plethora of issues that go beyond the scope of traditional education.

The UW System, and other institutions of higher learning across the country, have raised their tuition at a rate much higher than inflation. For many families a college education is out of reach.  

Thankfully, Governor Walker is starting to address the situation.

1.        Allocable Segregated Fees - Student would be able to opt out of paying fees associated with student groups and clubs. This is certainly a great place to start.  It is hard enough to afford college without extra fees.

2.      Three-Year degree programs - The Governor is proposing that the UW System develop curriculum paths for three year degrees.  This is long overdue. Accommodating those students who are interested in getting a degree as quickly and as affordable as possible is a fantastic idea.

3.      Faculty workload - We have been hearing a lot about highly paid professors who spend very little time in the classroom teaching. We all can agree that research has an important role to play at the university level, but the primary goal should be teaching students, that is what we pay our money for.

4.      Procurement reform - The governorís budget significantly increases oversight of the process relating to the procurement of goods and services. The initiative includes substantially increasing the threshold required for sealed bids and it markedly increases the amount that would require a waiver to bypass the bidding process.

Increasing the amount of funding to the system is a non-starter for me. The UW System should take every step to control their costs before asking the taxpayer for more funding.  We need to consider the Wisconsin taxpayer and the students who inspire to graduate from college.  We need a common sense approach to higher education in Wisconsin.  


God Bless Wisconsin!



        Some Great Kids from Hamilton High School!





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