Gov. Walker Shows Openness To Limiting Legal Immigration

|
April 21, 2015 12:05 p.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signaled that he’s open to limiting legal immigration to the United States, a step beyond some of Walker’s most hardline comments on immigration reform in the past.

“In terms of legal immigration, how we need to approach that going forward is saying, we will make adjustments,” Walker said Monday in an interview with Glenn Beck, flagged by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “The next president and the next Congress need to make decisions about a legal immigration system that’s based on, first and foremost, on protecting American workers and American wages, because the more I’ve talked to folks —— I’ve talked to Senator Sessions and others out there, but it is a fundamentally lost issue by many in elected positions today —is what is this doing for American workers looking for jobs, what is this doing to wages, and we need to have that be at the forefront of our discussion going forward.”

Walker’s position on immigration has been a point of contention, especially as he’s ramped up his moves toward jumping into the 2016 presidential race. In 2013 he signaled openness to a path to citizenship for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, a position strongly opposed by hard right Republicans. But earlier this year Walker feuded with the newspaper where he made the pathway to citizenship remarks and stressed numerous times that he opposes “amnesty” —shorthand among immigration hawks for a pathway to citizenship.

“I don’t believe in amnesty, and part of the reason why I’ve made that a firm position is I look at the way this president has mishandled this issue,” Walker said in an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace in early May.

Newsletters
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

“No amnesty, if someone wants to be a citizen, they have to go back to their country of origin and get in line behind everybody else who’s been waiting,” Walker added in the interview with Beck on Monday.

Walker mentioning Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is likely not an accident. Sessions is one of the most outspoken opponents of immigration reform. Earlier in April The Washington Post published an op-ed by Sessions where he argued that the U.S. needs to “curb immigration flows.”

“If no immigration curbs are enacted, the Census Bureau estimates that another 14 million immigrants will come to the United States between now and 2025,” Sessions wrote. “That means we will introduce a new population almost four times larger than that of Los Angeles in just 10 years time.”

Latest Livewire
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: