Many moons ago, all the way back in 2013, The Wasau Daily Herald published an article.
That article contained an interview with the Wisconsin Governor. Among the many topics discussed was federal immigration reform.
“People want to come here and work hard and benefit, I don’t care whether they come from Mexico or Ireland or Germany or Canada or South Africa or anywhere else, I want them here.” Walker told the Wasau Daily Herald editors.
At a time when the loudest voices on the right were screaming for border security while ignoring the major issues with our current immigration infrastructure, Walker took a somewhat different approach and one more akin to Senator Rubio’s attitude on immigration reform. Walker explained that restructuring our immigration system should help mitigate the constant flow of undocumented aliens.
“I think there’s got to be a way, not only do they need to fix things for people who are already here or find some way to deal with that, there’s got to be a larger way to fix the system in the first place, because if it wasn’t so cumbersome, if it wasn’t so long of a wait, if it wasn’t so difficult to get in, you wouldn’t have the other problems that we have with people who don’t have legal status here in the first place. the 11 million,” he said. “You hear some people talk about border security and a wall and all that, to me, I don’t think you need any of that if you have a better, saner way to let people into the country in the first place.”
One of the reporters then asked, “Can you envision a world where with the right, penalties, and waiting periods, and meet the requirements. where these people could get citizenship?”
“Sure. I mean, I think it makes sense,” Walker responded.
“What I’m saying is, otherwise we do this kind of bandaid approach… the mere fact that they’re having this debate without having discussion about why is the system itself, why aren’t we fixing that, it seems to be the kind of vacuum that decisions are made in at the federal level,” Walker clarified.
A few days after the interview The Hill reported the story as “Gov. Walker backs citizenship pathway for illegal immigrants,” although that’s not entirely accurate.
The entire conversation is here:
Walker made similar statements a few months prior to the aforementioned interview when he sat down with Politico — statements that he later clarified to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
I think long term that’s going to be a part of it but I think there are too many people here in Washington who are leapfrogging over everything else and trying to get to that right away. We fundamentally don’t have a system . . . to legitimately deal with people who want to come – in fact, I think you would greatly reduce if not outright eliminate the number of people who come in illegally if we had an effective, time-effective particularly, system of dealing with legal immigration.”
Later in 2013, Walker clarified even further in an interview with the Washington Post. As Hot Air’s Allahpundit pointed out:
Towards the end of the interview, Bannon noted that “Amnesty is about the sovereignty of the country.” But, he asked Walker, “the Washington Post said earlier that you’re pro-pathway to citizenship.”
“See now that’s where they take it out of context,” Walker said in response. “I’ve not said there should be amnesty in this country. I don’t believe that. I don’t support the legislation being kicked around. What I’ve said repeatedly is we need to fix the immigration system, but fix the legal system. So if people want to come in this country we should have a legal immigration system.”
At the Iowa Freedom Summit last week, Walker shied away from discussing immigration all together. A good life decision in my estimation.
Repeatedly, Walker has indicated that working to fix legal immigration should be the paramount issue, yet it’s the one issue federal lawmakers are not willing to discuss. He’s also said he’s definitely not pro-amnesty.
Rather than demagoguing and politicizing a serious issue, Walker’s approach is perfectly pragmatic. “Why are we in this situation that we’re in? How did we get here? And what do we do to fix it?” are questions that should be asked, but seldom find their way into the politisphere discussion.
Should Walker decide to throw his hat into the 2016 ring, he’ll undoubtedly be forced to address the immigration question in greater detail.
Speaking for myself, I’d love to see the national spotlight shine a little light on Walker or another contender with Walkeresque immigration ideas. Our immigration system might benefit as a result.
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