Governor Walker’s Former Secretary of Workforce Development Perez Asks Walker Not To Sign Anti-Immigrant Bills

By Robert Miranda, Editor: Wisconsin Spanish Journal

February 21, 2016

Former Wisconsin Secretary of the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), Manny Perez responded to questions asked of him by Latino community blogger H. Nelson Goodson, of the Hispanic News Network-USA (HNNUSA)—the questions were posted on the HNNUSA Facebook page this weekend.

Perez was asked whether he supported or did not support the current Republican sponsored anti-immigration bills now being debated at the Capitol.

Former Secretary Perez responded to the questions by stating the following:

“As Walker’s first Secretary of Workforce Development and a moderate Republican, I formally ask Gov. Scott Walker not to sign these bills and of Scott Fitzgerald and Republican Legislators to block and put a stop to this legislation. The public perception is that of an anti-immigrant and anti-worker posture when, in fact, undocumented workers are present because companies are hiring them, because they are good workers seeking to feed their families here and in other countries, and when in fact both Democratic and Republican administrations have contributed to the existence of undocumented workers. Workers are not terrorists; they are here as a result of many factors that include corruption and lack of jobs in developing nations and US International policy and more.

“A framework for immigration reform was presented by me in 2014 to both Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Ron Johnson. It is sound and most certainly can be improved upon. I ask that, instead of Republican and Democratic representatives passing resolutions exerting tremendous pressure on the federal government, they should undertake immigration reform that tackles the ROOT causes of immigration without making the workers and private sector that hire them the scapegoats for failures of past Republican and Democrat administrations because they will – without doubt - both suffer. It is time for all Wisconsinites to go beyond a myopic and parochial view of labor, and of international flows of labor when in fact there are many geopolitical and international trade US policy issues that contribute to illegal immigration,” Perez said.

In addition to his statement, former Secretary Perez released a copy of his recommendations for resolving the immigration question.

Former workforce development secretary suggests:

Perez stated that,”With great concern, I have seen the approval of laws being perceived as anti-immigrant in the State of Wisconsin, which in my opinion does not reflect that a careful analysis of the economic and geopolitical realities has taken place.

“Two years ago, August 2014, I presented the framework outlined below to Sen. Ron Johnson and Congressman Paul Ryan. Senator Johnson and Congressman Ryan initially supported my proposal. I am presenting this proposal to the public in the interest of moving forward in order to resolve this matter,” continued Perez.

Former Secretary Perez Immigration Reform Proposal:

“1. US must change its foreign relations policy towards Latin America via the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to tie development loans to actual, measurable, sustainable employment outcomes and increases in purchasing power. OBJECTIVE: Lower the supply of labor to the US via increased employment in Latin America, increased consumption in Latin America and aggregate demand for US products and services; reduce corruption in Third World government/nations, maximize use of US taxpayer funds;

“2. Protect the border with increased security OBJECTIVE: Lower supply of undocumented labor to the US while increasing security; act in unison with the rest of these measures;

“3. Implement MANAGED LABOR FLOWS approach/Temporary Guest Worker Program to existing UNDOCUMENTED workers in the US and overseas; consider granting temporary work permits to existing undocumented workers. OBJECTIVE: Meet labor demand needs on understaffed positions, or positions where skill is needed, or seasonal employment;

“4. Standardize E-Verify across the US and penalize US employers and workers who violate the law. OBJECTIVE: Increase security, ensure workers are protected under labor laws, ensure proper accounting for taxes paid;

“5. Establish comprehensive economic development and workforce development strategies at the national level as opposed to hodgepodge or reactionary initiatives. OBJECTIVE: Provide a stable, flexible economic development and workforce development framework for the states to use to maximize outcomes and train the local workforce, yet achieve aggregate results;

“6. Ensure all nations adhere to accepted WTO labor standards OBJECTIVE: Ensure that all nations play under the same rules, protect workers’ rights and safety, and ensure a stable labor force for business.

“7. Focus on measurable results and outcomes. OBJECTIVE: Stop heated rhetoric and politicking and maximize benefits to the citizens and the nation.”

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on February 22, 2016

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