PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A challenger for U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) announced she is running as a Republican for the 2022 U.S. Senate election Thursday, March 11.

Allison Salinas is running on a platform of healthcare, school choice, infrastructure, and immigration. She has previously hosted “Back the Blue” rallies in Peoria.

On healthcare, Salinas said she believes the country should invest in private companies that provide a fair and free market to the public, and allow for choice and incentives.

To make that idea a reality, Salinas said the country would need to ensure funding is available.

“This requires us to separate healthcare from employment by stipulating that [companies] would no longer provide health insurance for their employees paid by the company,” Salinas said. “However, there must be a key requirement that the company would be required to funnel 80% of their ‘healthcare savings’ back to their employees in the form of higher wages and salaries to an employee paid private insurance. Upon winning the U.S. Senate race, I will work hard to implement this idea.”

Regarding school choice, Salinas believes public schools are saturated with government and unions dictating what children learn. She would prefer for parents to be aligned with what their children learn.

“My plan caters to the student, as an individual,” Salinas said. “My plan allows for flexibility and ensures success and mastery of the subjects. Imagine your child bringing home all A’s and B’s! Imagine your child being excited to learn, not just memorize a bunch of meaningless facts. Education is supposed to be fun and engaging, not a tedious chore.”

She said her plan provides the highest quality of entertaining education, while significantly reducing stress on everyone. She said she would work to ensure teachers would not endure “after-hours binge grading” or give students and parents “hours of homework” anymore.

Salinas also addressed her plan for infrastructure citing a 2017 Infrastructure Report Card report suggesting the country should invest $2 trillion over the next decade. She said it is a massive amount of money, but she believes it will pay “immeasurable dividends” over the next 50 – 100 years.

“Although the cost is high, this investment will spur a massive employment market because we will need a lot of Americans to do the work to fix and replace our crumbling infrastructure,” Salinas said. “The lives preserved, the cargo saved, the money saved from lawsuits and vehicle repairs that will be prevented, and the health benefits and medical cost savings from improved drinking water and proper wastewater disposal will save money for every American.”

One of Salinas’s biggest concerns with this issue is the quality of materials used. She said the country needs to use high-quality products that are designed to last 50 – 100 years, with a preference on lasting closer to 100 years.

On the topic of immigration, Salinas said it is “one of the finest and most unique qualities of American life.” She said the nation should enforce the laws in place to “allow freedom-loving people to enter while protecting us from those who wish to destroy our nation and our beloved freedoms.”

“Make no mistake about it, most immigrants love America and want to be a part of our diverse communities,” Salinas said. “But we have a duty to protect our citizens and our legal immigrants from potential harm. Gangs, rapists, and murderers do not contribute to our communities. They must be vetted and kept out. I am committed to protecting my constituents from harm, whether foreign or domestic.”

Salinas said the current immigration system is broken because the process for vetting immigrants is long and tedious. She said she is open to public feedback for ideas on how to simplify and streamline the process.

She also said she is “willing to work with the ‘illegal’ immigrants” in her district to help them complete the steps needed to apply for citizenship.

“We do not have to deport all of them. Nor do we have to give them a free pass. Neither of those solutions is fair. We can find a fair solution so that we all benefit,” Salinas said.

She plans on joining Matt Sheehan for On the Record later in March.