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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

What if we threw out all the illegal immigrants?

Illegal immigration

That’s the question columnist Shirley Skeel asks on She’s a print and radio journalist based in Seattle who has written for Bloomberg News, The Seattle Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph in London. She has also produced radio features for National Public Radio and its affiliates. That should tell you where she’s coming from.

Skeel answers her own question.  Get the crying towel out:

“Lettuce and strawberries would rot in the fields. Dirty dishes would pile up in restaurants. Thousands of farmers and builders would go bust. Predator aircraft drones would prowl the Mexican border. And chunks of Los Angeles and Houston would look like ghost towns.

The biggest losers would be middle-class families with two working parents, living in high-immigrant states such as California, Texas, Florida or New York. Why? They would pay more for food, housing, entertainment and child care as a shortage of low-skilled workers drove up some wages, and therefore, some prices. Meantime, their own pay would remain the same. What's more, the ripple effect of thousands of businesses shrinking or closing for lack of staff might put one of the parents out of a job. Not to mention the garbage collection going to pot and no one to polish the missus' nails.”

Skeel says there would be an impact on hotels and restaurants:

There'd be a triple whammy here. Latino staff and customers would both be lost, while the price of fresh food would be driven up by shortages. Distraught restaurant owners would pin up job ads at colleges, when they weren't up to their elbows in dish soap. The billions of dollars spent annually by illegal immigrants would disappear, bad news for small restaurateurs and fast-food joints. But over time, the industry would adapt. Self-service cafés would pop up. And more restaurants would serve chicken parmesan prepared in a factory and warmed up in a microwave. Yum.”

Well, that’s certainly one take on the question, albeit a nauseating one. Strawberries would rot? My goodness, let’s invite more of them in if that’s the case!

Here's Skeel's column.

What if we threw all the illegal immigrants out of the United States? My responses:

There would one million fewer sex crimes committed.

The federal government deficit would shrink. Costs for Medicaid, food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches, the federal prison and court systems would go down.

Billions of dollars would stay in America and not be wired to Mexico and other countries.

The financial burden on education and incarceration would be reduced. We wouldn’t be wasting dollars spent on earned income tax credits given to illegal immigrants.

So, what if we threw them all out?

I only wish we could.

$455,000 per household


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While Franklin celebrates, local blogger tosses mud

Today was a great day for Franklin. Sendik’s opened at the Shoppes at Wyndham Village. There was a big crowd soaking in the sun and the celebration. Many people who worked so hard to see this project come to fruition were there to see their vision fulfilled.

It’s extremely unfortunate that one short-sighted area blogger continues his negative and irresponsible writing about this project.

Greg Kowalski no longer blogs on FranklinNOW. He has decided to take his ball and go elsewhere. Maybe he should blog for OakCreekNOW given his penchant for writing the phrase, “Thank God for Oak Creek.” That’s no surprise since he’s always bad-mouthing anyone in Franklin who doesn’t fall all over him.

In the past few days, Kowalski has taken the rather juvenile step of having a contest on his blog, asking readers to write in with nicknames and phrases ripping the look of the large Target sign at Shoppes at Wyndham Village. Now that’s real community pride.

While everyone was basking in the glow of today’s wonderful Sendik’s Grand Opening, Kowalski is writing about second hand information he received about the speeches at the ceremony:

“From some information told to me, a lot of credit was given to Franklin Senior Citizens, Inc. President Casper Green. He was mentioned in speeches by hometown developer Mark Carstensen and by Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor. These speeches gave Casper a pivotal role in somehow luring this Sendik's and development to that location. My only comment is going to be to the point; Casper Green does many good things for the seniors of Franklin, however he shouldn't be given a god-like status just because he knows how to convince seniors in the community to vote his way. I personally take offense to anything of the sort, since there are many Franklin residents who don't fall in the category of being senior citizens and don't seem to be recognized at all by our elected leaders.”

Again, this is not surprising. Last year, Kowalski hated when I called him on a blog he wrote blasting and disrespecting senior citizens who dared disagree with him about Target at a public hearing. Now he goes after Casper Green, Franklin's Person of the Year in 2007. What did Green ever do to Kowalski?

Kowalski also ripped the Shoppes' developer, one of Franklin’s finest corporate citizens, Mark Carstensen, saying he likes the limelight. Yeh, that’s it, Greg. That’s why Carstensen does what he does.

In another blog, Kowalski writes this nonsense about why it’s “a shame” that Ferch’s might open another location at the Shoppes at Wyndham Village:

“Some people will simply forget the pedestrian (un)friendliness and the massive parking long as they got their Ferch's ice cream! Then again...maybe they won't, since the ice cream will melt faster in the searing heat of the Wyndham Village parking lot with barely any trees for shade from the scorching sun during the summer.”

What is Kowalski suggesting? Should a retractable roof be built over the parking lot so he can walk to his car with his ice cream cone?

I close with this. I notice Kowalski’s departure from this website hasn’t improved his woeful grammar and writing. He described Ferch’s as “infamous.” My guess is the great folks at Ferch’s would be highly offended. Infamous means having or deserving a bad reputation, detestable, vile, wicked.

But he’s such a whippersnapper!


That was the word one of the speakers at today’s Sendik’s opening in Franklin, I believe it was Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor, used to describe the architecture of Sendik’s and the adjacent Target, set to open July 23. You can see a picture of Sendik’s in Senator Mary Lazich’s blog.

The buildings do look great at the Shoppes at Wyndham Village, off to a very good start with lots of movement and activity.

Judge Franke deserves much praise for his ruling on Franklin ordinances

In upholding Franklin’s tough ordinances restricting where sex offenders can live or congregate, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge John Franke demonstrated, in this day and age, great judicial restraint.

Here’s what I mean.

Remember, Franke is a liberal judge who has ruled in favor of sex offenders in the past.

Quoting from the 30-page decision by Franke, the judge writes (points in parentheses are mine):

“The defendant (Steve Hanke, a convicted sex offender who moved into Franklin within 600 feet of a middle school in clear violation of the city’s ordinances) repeatedly invites me (Franke) to consider the wisdom of the Franklin ordinances, advancing evidence and arguments as to why the ordinances are bad public policy. However, although three of the constitutional issues raised by the defendant require that I consider whether there is a rational connection between a law and a legitimate public purpose, this does not entitle me to determine whether the law is a good idea. A legislative body determines whether the benefits of a law outweigh its costs. A court determines only whether the law is valid in light of other laws the court has the obligation to apply. Legislation need not be wise to be valid.”

Translation: Franke could have legislated from the bench, but didn't.

All the more reason to praise and thank Judge Franke.

And again, tremendous gratitude to everyone involved in crafting the ordinances that Franke upheld.

Want complete details on this story, the most important Franklin story of the year and one of the most important in the entire state in 2008? Here they are.

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