Scott Walker Backtracks on 2013 Comment on ‘Amnesty’

By Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou is a tech reporter who has written about drones, artificial intelligence, and space exploration.
February 18, 2015 Updated: February 18, 2015

On Tuesday morning, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker posted a comment on his Facebook page about the decision by a Texas federal judge to halt President Barack Obama’s execution action on immigration.

“The federal judge in Texas overseeing the multi-state lawsuit (we joined with 25 other states) against the Obama administration for its executive actions on immigration has issued a preliminary injunction in our favor.”

The neutrality of his post fell in line with the presumed presidential candidate’s tortured ambiguity on immigration. Whereas Jeb Bush has clearly staked his position as a pro-immigration dove, Walker continues to waver, and this week tried to bury the history of his support for comprehensive immigration reform.

In an interview with Bret Baier of Fox News, Walker denied that he had ever supported giving a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States.

“I have said I believe we need a legal immigration system. I have said repeatedly I oppose amnesty. I think we’re a nation of immigrants, but we’re also a nation of laws,” Walker said. “We should have a legal way for people to come into this country either for work or for citizenship, just like we have for generations.”
But a videotape of a July 2013 interview with Walker by the Wausau Daily Herald showed someone who was strongly in favor of allowing existing illegal immigrants to stay permanently in the United States, although Walker did not endorse the 2013 immigration legislation in Congress, saying that he wasn’t a “big fan” of “the federal government, regardless of party.”
“If people want to come here and work hard in America, I don’t care whether they come from Mexico or Ireland or Germany or South Africa or anywhere else, I want them here,” Walker said. “I think they need to fix things for people who are already here, find some way to deal with that (but also) there’s got to be a larger way to fix the system in the first place.”
In recent weeks, Walker has joined other Republicans in calling for more border security, and he did so again in his interview with Baier.
“Part of that deal is we need to make sure we have a border that’s secure, not just for immigration reasons, but as I mentioned, for national security,” Walker said.
Less than two years ago, Walker had the opposite view on border security.
“You hear some people talk about border security and a wall and all that. To me, I don’t know that you need any of that if you had a better, saner way to let people into the country in the first place,” he said.
Walker is one of two presumed front-runners in the 2016 Republican primary along with Jeb Bush, and both have polled well in key primary states in recent weeks.
Jonathan Zhou is a tech reporter who has written about drones, artificial intelligence, and space exploration.