Does Scott Walker Support A Pathway To Citizenship?

by William Teach | March 27, 2015 6:59 am

Scott Walker, like most politicians (and, really, most people), has his good points and bad points vis a vis political beliefs. As Allahpundit[1] notes, he’s pretty much always been an amnesty shill, so it would be rather difficult for him to “shift his stance”, at least his true one, as the Wall Street Journal[2] writes, as Walker goes down the road of Establishment Republican amnesty belief

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told a private dinner of New Hampshire Republicans this month that he backed the idea of allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and to eventually become eligible for citizenship, a position at odds with his previous public statements on the matter…

But during the March 13 New Hampshire dinner, organized by New Hampshire Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Horn at the Copper Door Restaurant in Bedford, Mr. Walker said undocumented immigrants shouldn’t be deported, and he mocked 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s suggestion that they would “self-deport,” according to people who were there…

“He said no to citizenship now, but later they could get it,” said Bill Greiner, an owner of the Copper Door restaurant. Ken Merrifield, mayor of Franklin, N.H., who also attended, said Mr. Walker proposed that illegal immigrants should “get to the back of the line for citizenship” but not be deported.

Dan Riehl[3] notes

Given the history here, it may now be impossible to know precisely where Walker stands, with supporters left to assume the worst — that he’s just another open borders Republican — becoming the default across the conservative grassroots whose support he needs to win.

Team Walker put out a statement[4], though

“We strongly dispute this account. Governor Walker has been very clear that he does not support amnesty and believes that border security must be established and the rule of law must be followed. His position has not changed, he does not support citizenship for illegal immigrants, and this story line is false,” she announced in an email to journalists Thursday afternoon.

Team Walker might want to consider sending that email to leading Conservative bloggers and news outlets, the people who can make or break Walker during the primaries.

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin[5], a big Establishment Republican herself, continues on

There are three aspects to this flap. First, Walker would do well to spell out what he is for, not simply what he is against. He said that this president’s conduct changed his mind on the issue. How it changed and what he now believes are topics he should address forthrightly. Second, he should be wary of chasing voters drawn to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) who inveigh against immigration and toss around economically suspect claims. Walker remains a figure who can unify the party and appeal to non-Republicans in a general election. There is no need to marginalize himself as Mitt Romney did went he introduced “self-deportation” to the 2012 presidential race. Third, for all the huffing and puffing about Bush, immigration reform critics ignore the similarities among the views of Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), former Texas governor Rick Perry and others who emphasize border security first. None of them favor “open borders” or “amnesty.” Rubio, for example, favors border security and measures to counter visa overstay and then an arduous road to citizenship for those here illegally (with fines, payment of back taxes, etc.) and repair of our legal immigration system. It’s not going to please the talk radio show anti-immigration crowd, but let’s remember that they are not representative[6] of the GOP electorate as a whole. Whatever route Walker chooses, he should be clear and unapologetic.

Very much the Establishment POV, though Walker would do well to spell out his actual policy prescriptions. As for the other points, those have been discussed to death, but let’s note that the Establishment immigration plan tends to be smoke and mirrors, allowing legalization without really securing the border, nor making the illegals go down any “arduous road”. The Difference between Democrats and Establishment Republicans is simply in talking points, not end results.

Let me just note once again: deporting the tens of millions of illegals is not impossible, but extremely difficult. And there may just be some who actually want to be part of the American dream. Secure the border, and institute significant civil and criminal penalties on those who hire illegals without doing their due diligence. Make those who provide jobs for visa holders, as well as colleges that accept foreigners, in charge of keeping track of immigration status. Those who want to stay should show they can speak English and have value to America. No social safety net programs for any of them. Period. Let them wait in line like all those who’ve done it the right way. Create conditions where illegals will no longer jump the border nor overstay their visas.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[7]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[8].

  1. Allahpundit:
  2. Wall Street Journal:
  3. Dan Riehl:
  4. statement:
  5. Jennifer Rubin:
  6. not representative:
  7. Pirate’s Cove:
  8. @WilliamTeach:

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