March 3, 2017

Volume 3 Issue 6

State Representative Janel Brandtjen

Immigration reform: Moving people out of the shadows.

Anyone familiar with the struggles of the typical illegal immigrant will tell you that the status quo is not working. Building a wall is the compassionate thing to do. The “wall” as President Trump called it during the campaign, represents the starting point of an opportunity to provide a real change for those trapped in a life lived underground. 

In 1986 President Ronald Regan signed into law sweeping immigration reform.  The package included an amnesty provision as well as a call for greater border security.  Although the legislation was considered “comprehensive” at the time, 30 years later it is recognized as a failure.  It is no secret that the failure to follow through on increased border security is the reason it failed.

In 2017, immigration reform cannot even be discussed until the border problem is fully addressed and we the people are 100% convinced that our borders are completely secure. Then and only then can we put together a guest worker program, a path to citizenship, and most importantly, an immigration program that makes sense for America.  Illegal immigrants will benefit most from such a program.

Imagine going from being afraid to answer the door to being a legal card carrying guest worker.  Imagine life no longer afraid to call the police when being victimized. Too many people living in America live in constant fear. We have a chance to ease those fears, forever.

We all benefit from border security, less drugs in our schools, and less crime in our neighborhoods. Everyone deserves to be safe.  

We all will benefit from a guest worker program.  A controlled environment where workers can apply for “guest worker status”. Taxes will be collected, drivers licenses issued, and employers will be able to fill needed positions.

Immigration should be a unifying idea that benefits everyone. We have an opportunity to achieve that dream.  Building it now is the compassionate answer.

Governor Walker’s 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 governor’s 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.

There are several proposals involving the UW-System that I cannot support in the governor’s budget. 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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