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Local reaction pours in to Trump's first State of the Union Address

Posted at 6:13 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 19:15:02-05

Reaction continues to pour in after President Donald Trump's first formal State of the Union Address Tuesday night. 

One proposal in the president's 80-minute speech was a four-point plan to reform immigration. 

Trump called for a path to citizenship for the 1.8 million DACA recipients, or "Dreamers" brought to the U.S. illegally when they were young. 

He also said he'd like to see more border security added, the visa lottery ended, and chain migration ended. 

Alejandra Gonzalez, a Voces de la Frontera member and DACA recipient, said she's not in favor of the proposal. 

"I don't want a pathway to citizenship if it's at the expense of other immigrants," Gonzalez said. 

She added she hopes lawmakers will find a way to greenlight a path to citizenship for DACA recipients without other immigration policies attached as conditions. 

But State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) said he thinks the president's plan is a good one. 

"He struck up a compromise that ought to be palatable to both sides," Sanfelippo said. "No one is going to get 100 percent of what they want." 

Trump also used Tuesday night's State of the Union to tout the condition of the U.S. economy. 

"Since the election, we've created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone," the President said. 

"Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low," he added. 

In Milwaukee's Third Ward area, opinions on the U.S. economy were mixed. 

"If people want to work, there are jobs out there," said Maurice Sadowski. 

"Things are not that great," said Jodi Bischoff. "I have friends who've lost their jobs and are struggling." 

Presidents have historically pointed to a strong economy as a way to show they're doing a good job in the Oval Office. 

But Andrew Hanson, an Associate Professor of Economics at Marquette University, said a president's ability to impact the economy is limited. 

"There are some things the executive branch can do directly, with regulations," Hanson said. 

But he said factors like changing technology, people joining or leaving the workforce, and tax policies passed at the state or local level, are all outside of the President's control. 

"Most of the evidence I'm aware of shows the President doesn't have much impact on the economy," Hanson said. 

Hanson added the recently-passed federal tax law, which Trump praised during his speech Tuesday night, does contain policies that should provide a jolt to the economy going forward.

One example is the reduced corporate tax rate, which Hanson said could encourage more businesses to invest in expansion.