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Did Scott Walker change his immigration stance again?

Did Scott Walker change his immigration stance again?

The Wall Street Journal suggests as much, but Walker’s spokeswoman says otherwise

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported Scott Walker as having “adjusted his stance on immigration” at a private dinner in New Hampshire.

After drawing intense criticism for supporting the eventual legalization of illegal immigrants currently in the United States, Walker made a bold move. Earlier this month, Governor Walker admittedly changed his position on legalizing undocumented individuals saying, “My view has changed, I’m flat out saying it.”

Fox News reported:

Walker in 2013 said a plan in which illegal immigrants can become United States citizens by first paying penalties and enduring a waiting period “makes sense.”

However, he is now saying such a plan is tantamount to amnesty, amid criticism that he has flip-flopped on that issue and others — including right-to-work legislation in his home state.

“I don’t believe in amnesty,” said Walker, who finished second Saturday in the Conservative Political Action Conference’s straw poll for potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates. “We need to secure the border. We ultimately need to put in place a system that works — a legal immigration system that works.”

Just weeks later, the Wall Street Journal reports that in a private dinner, away from the eyes of the press, Governor Walker is back to his old amnesty lovin’ ways. The reporter relied on attendee reports; providing no indication he attended the dinner personally.

So what’s really going on here?

The story according to the WSJ is as follows:

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.

Mr. Walker’s remarks, which were confirmed by three people present, vary from the call he has made for “no amnesty”—a phrase widely employed by people who believe immigrants who broke the law by entering the country without permission shouldn’t be awarded legal status or citizenship.

…“He said no to citizenship now, but later they could get it,” said Bill Greiner, an owner of the Copper Door. 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.

Governor Walker’s spokeswoman vehemently denies the report, calling the story line false.

scott walker amnesty flip flops change stance wall street journal spokesman statement denial

Governor Walker is in Texas today, touring the Mexican border with Governor Abbott and speaking to Republican groups. Since the WSJ story and resultant denial amount to a game of he-said she-said, time will be the arbiter.

And now we wait.

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Then why were the press barred from his meeting with the Chamber of Commerce yesterday? Was it in Nebraska? Was this the original meeting or a second one?

Does he think we are kidding about not tolerating snake oil salesmen any more? If, as he says, he never privately told that group he supported amnesty barring the press from this latest meeting was a foolish, foolish thing to do.

And perhaps I a wrong and there was only one closed door meeting where he assured the C of C they could rely on him.

If he did.

    damocles in reply to betty. | March 27, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Look. I was willing to give Governor Walker the benefit of the doubt when he announced a few weeks back that he had changed his mind and didn’t support a path to amnesty anymore. I was skeptical, but I though give him a chance. Now I feel like a chump. He flat out lied to the members of the grassroots and told his important big donor friends the truth. I’m no fan of the WSJ, but they have 3 different sources on this who were all at the dinner. I’m through with Walker. A path to citizenship means the end of GOP Presidents. 18 million illegals voting for Democrats can turn swing states blue. No more lies. Haven’t we heard enough of those over the past 8 years?

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to damocles. | March 28, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      Don’t let the media, including the WSJ, turn you against Walker. Walker and Jeb are at the top. If the media knocks Walker out, who is left standing? Yeah. Jeb. Is that who you want for our candidate? Somebody who has clearly stated he’s going to feed the corporate beast with cheap labor with an unfettered rush of illegals?

      Don’t fall for this tactic!

The Wall Street Journal is as rotten in its “news” side as the WaPo. I DO believe they are the house organ for the Bush Family, Inc.

I frankly don’t believe the report, and will follow further developments.

    Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | March 27, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Yep, I wouldn’t take anything said by the Washington Insider Wall Street Journal as fact with respect to any opponent of the RINO family.

    bw222 in reply to Ragspierre. | March 27, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    The Wall Street Journal hasn’t had any credibility for the at least 20 years

    betty in reply to Ragspierre. | March 27, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    The second closed door meeting with the Chamber of Commerce was in Phoenix.

    The first meeting where he said something about amnesty other then what he told us was in New Hampshire.

    I am not happy about this, but it is what it is.

      Ragspierre in reply to betty. | March 28, 2015 at 5:04 am

      You didn’t actually READ your own link, didja?

      I DID. It doesn’t have any more heft…in fact, LESS…than the WSJ piece. Both could easily be fabulism.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | March 28, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Agreed. Don’t allow the media to dictate who our candidate will be through manipulation.

    I believe the best way to choose a candidate is to examine the record of what they’ve done, how they’ve voted, and what THEY have to say; not the media interpretation and spin of what was said.

    The media becomes its least trustworthy during election season – more so than it is on a “normal” day. They have a dog in every fight.

    We need to do all we can to stop the media from this practice, and one way to do that is to pretend they don’t exist by not responding to hit pieces.

    They put this hit piece crap out on the airwaves, then suddenly there’s a poll showing the targeted candidate dropping. Voila! Just like Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football, people fall for it over and over and over, and that’s how the media succeeds in choosing our candidates. Then they target that candidate after s/he gets the nomination, and proceeds to destroy them so their guy wins.

great unknown | March 27, 2015 at 9:46 am

Sadly, this reminds me of Obama/Khalidi tape that the LA Times refused – and still refuses – to release.

If the problem with this report is that it comes from the WSJ, why doesn’t an honest, enterprising reporter simply track down some of the attendees and ask them? NH is not hard to find: it’s a little to the left of most of the country, and way to the right of the rest of New England.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to great unknown. | March 27, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    “an honest, enterprising reporter”

    1) is there such?
    2) is there a media outlet where he/she could get the answer published?

      damocles in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | March 27, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      If Walker had been steadfast in his immigration beliefs from the start we would have said that this could not be true. However, Walker has stated many times in media interviews over the years that he was supportive of a path to citizenship and the comprehensive immigration reform bill that the Gang of Eight had come up with. This is the problem. He didn’t change his mind until the polls showed a few weeks back that he was getting hurt by his support of a path to citizenship.Now it is easy to believe that he lied to us to get our support. He didn’t want to lie to his important big donors so they got the truth.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to damocles. | March 28, 2015 at 4:44 pm

        We don’t know what he said at this event. The WSJ is not a reliable source for rumors and innuendo, especially when it comes to politics. They know Jeb will give Big Money Business what it wants; Walker is an unknown, so of course they’re going to do what they can to help Jeb.

        When you read anything during candidate selection season, always ask yourself “Quo bono?”

“Mr. Walker’s remarks, which were confirmed by three people present,…”

If you’re pushing an agenda, of course you’re going to find other folks agree with you.

I’m NOT waiting around for another politician to EVEOLVE his positions on such an important topic.


Midwest Rhino | March 27, 2015 at 11:02 am

There are several voices that seem intent on shooting down Walker after his surge to the top. We know the Ron Paul people always managed to rig every online poll, and those same folks are probably helping Rand.

Cruz seems to have a very devout crowd that also will find fault with Walker, to help their guy emerge as the true tea party patriot. And Jeb will be the honest open borders guy, happy to stab Walker with a claim he is pandering to the Chamber.

We know Romney’s “self deport” line doesn’t work. So Walker has moved to “we’ll deal with the illegals after border is secure, but no blanket amnesty” stance, as I read it. That doesn’t preclude some becoming citizens if they go through the difficult legal path. He needs to be very clear on this. But so does Hillary, or other candidates.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Midwest Rhino. | March 27, 2015 at 11:27 am

    so my suggestions:

    Contrast a plan to Democrat’s (or Jeb and RINOs) blanket amnesty. “Go to back of the line” sort of works and is not amnesty. But for the “clean nose” working half of the illegals here, a legal but “second class” non-citizen visa status option may be necessary, at least temporarily. Half are off book now, which needs to stop, as they suck benefits, but undercut wages and harm lower class employment. All must be bio ID’d.

    They’d receive fewer entitlements, and of course could always go home. But we would get all working families ID’d, and all others not e-verified would be enticed to leave or in time be deported. They are the trouble. We don’t need “comprehensive immigration reform” (code for amnesty). We need closed borders per current law, then “deal with” the illegals here, separating wheat from chaff.

    Along with this, Walker could suggest ending the anchor baby syndrome, using incidents like the busted Chinese scheme of bringing pregnant women over to CA for $50K each. “We need Americans that will appreciate what Madison stood for”.

    We probably have to accept that half of the illegals will never leave, but we don’t have to give them the vote or full entitlements. This claim that they will prop up our Ponzi scheme of retiree benefits is a short term excuse, even if true. SS & Medicare only funded themselves when two were paying as one was taking, so adding millions of low wage workers will bankrupt us even worse as they retire.

    And we must stop the “invasion” even if we close the border. That means no more “reuniting” whole families … they can “reunite” in Mexico if that is so necessary. No more anchor babies. The world is on fire. These foreigners need to kill off their own tyrants, not escape to the US and support ours.

      damocles in reply to Midwest Rhino. | March 27, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      I agree with you that illegals should never get citizenship unless they leave the country entirely and go home and apply at the back of the list, so that everyone who HAS followed the law gets their fair shot at citizenship. In the meantime, those who want to work in the US could register as illegals in the Us, then return to their place of origin, pay an application fee to apply for temporary work permits that allow them to live in the US and work, pay taxes etc, if they pass a background check. These folks would not be eligible for social security benefits or any other benefits that are denied to regular folks who came here legally on work permits.Anyone who commits, or has committed, any type of crime gets deported immediately. When their temporary work permit is up they have to reapply. Those who do not register or get a work permit get deported as soon as we catch them. And of course all this needs to occur with the border being sealed tight.

        Midwest Rhino in reply to damocles. | March 27, 2015 at 4:43 pm

        that sounds right, but I don’t think we’d get 15 million to go back and apply. So I’d rather they be encouraged to all sign up while here, giving them perhaps a two year visa. I’m thinking we need to bio ID all that are here. If we require they leave and apply, few will obey that law and we’ll be right where we are now.

        Of course e-verify would be a good start toward ending the chaos, plus dealing with sanctuary cities. (Illinois has a bill to become a sanctuary state) Wealthy people with illegal nannies and gardeners, and The Chamber, don’t like that.

        So they aren’t loyal to America, and remittances escape to Mexico rather than building our economy. $52B/year in remittances are sent back to “home” countries, almost all to Latin America. But Americans have to subsidize those poor neighborhoods, and hence their employers as well. We subsidize sweatshops for the rich, and third world problems crop up.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Midwest Rhino. | March 28, 2015 at 5:05 pm

          De-incentivizing illegal aliens is the best way to get rid of them and return the work force to Americans. Let some in on as-needed basis if they pay for a work visa, pass a background check, pay withholding taxes on their earnings, and deny any and all benefits, including unemployment, welfare, etc.. to them. What they do with their wages, whether they spend it here or send it back to their home country, is their business. If they earned it legally AND their work was needed to fill a deficit of American workers, we should have no say in how or where they spend it.

          For those who want to become American citizens, they can apply for citizenship and get in the back of the line. The citizenship requirements should be rigorous, including a clean record, money on hand to support themselves for one year, ability to speak understandable English, and payment of a fine for entering the country illegally, if they did. No benefits of any kind should be payable to them for a period of ten years after they receive citizenship (except earned unemployment benefits), including social security, welfare, food stamps, health care, etc., and during that period they should be automatically deported for the commission of a felony. Consider it probationary or “free trial” citizenship.

          Many immigrants are otherwise fine people, but coming here illegally and taking freebie benefits and jobs by undercutting wages is really just robbery. The misery and costs from the crimes some of them commit is a whole other story. Rape and DUI manslaughter top the list.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to Midwest Rhino. | March 27, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    The border of course, will never be secure, so that’s anon-starter. The propopents of bordeer first argue it wll never bne secure enough. And Democrats will never pass it, even as part of comprehensive immigration reform, which is dead..

      Midwest Rhino in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | March 27, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      If half the effort was put into securing the border as is put into opening it, we’d be secure now.

      If we elect a Republican president and hold the senate we won’t need Democrats. We can override them with Harry Reid’s nuclear option. Even without a wall if we just put the border patrol ON the border, to do their job, rather than care for tens of thousands of illegal children (up to 35 yrs old) and drive them covertly all around the country … we’d be 80% of the way there.

      And local police would deport or imprison, not be taken to court by Holder. Things could change quickly if we didn’t have an open borders subversive in the White House. We could also get the EPA out of the way so we could patrol those vast areas being trashed by coyotes that have armed cartel patrols hiding safely.

      And of course if they found they couldn’t work or get free stuff, they wouldn’t come in the first place.

      There’s Sammy boy with his left wing BS again.

      The enemy of good is perfect. The enemy of a nearly closed border is a completely closed border. Sammy doesn’t wasn’t a closed border, so he says it will never be secure. The same old lefty canard…

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | March 28, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      It cannot be 100% secure, but it can be extremely secure. Adding to that a de-incentivizing of coming here for a free ride would slow the invasion to a very tiny, very manageable trickle.

      I can deal with that.

    damocles in reply to Midwest Rhino. | March 27, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    The only people invited to that private dinner, were trusted staff members and big donors. It was 3 of these people who reported to the WSJ. I don’t think any of them were on the payroll of other campaigns. On person reporting, maybe sour grapes, three people reporting he said he supported a path to citizenship? That’s pretty strong evidence, considering the attendees were all hand-picked by the Walker campaign.

      Ragspierre in reply to damocles. | March 27, 2015 at 8:15 pm

      Really? Who were they?

      Seems you are very quick to accept an extremely dubious “news” story, and we all should know better.

Walker’s stated position is that he is open to immigration reform in terms of tightening the borders and finding a pathway to citizenship for some illegals, but he is not in favor of blanket amnesty. Walker is pragmatic if nothing else. If you define amnesty as anything short of rounding up all illegals and shipping them back across the border, then your definition differs from Walker’s.

He has a decent, plain spoken command of the english language for somebody without an Ivy League education and he seldom clarifies his remarks and positions for those too dense to comprehend a simple message. He doesn’t chase down mis-quotes, doesn’t call out deliberately biased reporting and doesn’t even refute some of the rather outlandish lies proffered by his opponents. At first blush you might think that such an approach to politics would surely see him eaten alive, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Wisconsin voters have bought the idea that simple, honest, and principled can get the job done but it has been a really tough sell. It takes time to actually see words turn into actions. Wisconsin voters have already moved beyond that sideways, skeptical, is-this-doofus-for-real look y’all are giving Walker right now. He’s definitely not what we’re used to seeing.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Merlin. | March 28, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Well said.

    We’re so used to being bamboozled that we don’t all know when we’re not being bamboozled. Many just assume we are, and here come the media on their white horse to fulfill that assumption.

    This hit piece was media sleight of hand. They want Bush who is in full support of letting in every yahoo at the gate to get the nomination, yet they contort themselves into a pretzel with rumor and innuendo to try to make it look like Walker is the amnesty flag-waver. “Don’t look at him (Jeb), look at him! (Walker)”.

One of the best posts I ever read: “Politicians are human motels with the lights on 24/7.”
Just wish it was mine.

None of this would be here…post or comments…if Walker would simply open the door or at least allow audio recordings.

Walker is tying his own noose.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to creeper. | March 27, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    He could maybe record audio of everything himself, but some would find that invasive. But he should at least expect he is being recorded.

    Walker never said there would be mass deportations, which means there will be a “dealing with” millions of illegals. Those trying to shoot him down seem to demand he say “deport them all”, or else he is for amnesty.

    Or they are just trying to paint him as a flip flopper, to help their own candidate. Do most candidates have reporters at every meeting?

      damocles in reply to Midwest Rhino. | March 27, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      Amnesty in my book includes a path to citizenship. If they are allowed to become citizens, what does that do to deter others form coming across the border? Also, they will inevitably vote Democrat and we will never win another election ever. Finally, what does giving illegal aliens citizenship say to those people who followed the law and are still waiting in their home countries? It says, you too are chumps to believe that laws matter.

        Midwest Rhino in reply to damocles. | March 27, 2015 at 4:17 pm

        Since we can’t deport them all, I prefer some legal status that never allows a vote, if they stay. And few entitlements, and penalties.

        But this is about what Walker actually said, and whether he flipped to “amnesty”. He only said they’d have to go to the end of the line, so would have to apply like everyone else to get citizenship. If the standards are like Ellis Island, most won’t qualify and e-verify would encourage many to go home, and fewer to come.

Henry Hawkins | March 27, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Walker has consistently stated he’s in favor of a pathway to legalization for illegal immigrants, starting with securing the border.

Beware of media and GOP leadership types who substitute the phrase ‘pathway to legalization’ with ‘amnesty’. He has never supported amnesty.

We all know there will never be a round-up and mas deportation of illegal immigrants, nor will there be an attritional approach using what would essentially be bench warrants used to pick up and deport illegals one by one as authorities encounter them. Therefore, we need a pathway to legalization after the border is secured. The details of that pathway are up for political discussion, of course.

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | March 27, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    You left out several OTHER possibilities, including mass and slow self-deportation as employment becomes more prohibitive for illegals.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Ragspierre. | March 27, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      Sure. I’m just waiting for Walker and others to flesh out their positions with some details before I make judgment on any of them.

    Not really. Take 3 minutes to listen to an interview with editors of the Wausau Daily Herald in which Walker even questions whether we need borders:

      Ragspierre in reply to bw222. | March 28, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      That’s not what he says. He never suggests we don’t need borders. He DOES suggest that making our immigration system more rational would alleviate the pressure on the borders.

      That’s a simple, rational opinion, and it isn’t one that’s unique to him. We can discuss the pros and cons, but you flat-footed mischaracterized what he DID say.

      Plus, in that video clip he’s obviously just brainstorming as a governor.

1. Observe the Constitution and rule of law.

2. Enforce ALL current laws regarding immigration period!

3. Enact E-Verify nationwide to become mandatory within six months.

4. Clear up the confusion as to birthright citizenship

5. End Chain Migration

6. Make illegal entry into this country a felony

Do these six things, and the rest of the issue will resolve itself within a year…

Sammy Finkelman | March 27, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Walker will be asked about this issue many times in the future, so, whatever he said at that private dinner, if he wants to be on both sides of that issue, he’ll have to do it many more times yet, and if he does, he will get caught.

Manybe he thinks he’s got some special formulation, or two speciall formulations, each one of which satisfies people on one side, and which don’t contract each other, but eventually they will have to become known to all. But that position will either fall on one side of the issue or the other, or be unreal, and probably both.

Why can’t one candidate find the guts to discuss this issue intelligently? How about expressing compassion for underemployed and unemployed Americans, and against the exploitation of illegal aliens? It can be done. It used to be done.

Also, how about drastically reducing legal immigration for a decade or more, letting people get adjusted to our society and assimilate? How about ending visas that outsource jobs within the country, and employers start training people that are already at the company (like they used to)?

I’d appreciate a candidate acknowledging we have enough people, and the country is harmed by this endless influx. It’s time to stem the flow. I’m fed up with candidates who want to be liked and given money at the expense of Americans. Since when did putting US Citizens first become a bad thing?

And the federal government definitely has the resources to find those employers breaking the law and make them pay extremely high fines, or jailed, for hiring illegal aliens. One employer in CA was arrested for slavery, and those in NYC have been sued for back payment. Both should go to jail for this type of exploitation.

Like other commentators have written, enforcing the laws already on the books will resolve the problem.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to GoldenAh. | March 27, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    “Why can’t one candidate find the guts to discuss this issue intelligently?”

    Because currently there is only one announced candidate – and he has discussed this issue intelligently.

    Because it is March of 2015 and only one candidate has even announced, GOP or Dem.

    Because there are legions of media libs eager to tear apart anything Walker (or Cruz, or Perry, etc.) says the minute he/she says it. It is long-time bipartisan habit to not go into too much detail too early in a campaign as a defense against being forced on the defensive by opposing media. Heard any substantive policy statements from Hillary Clinton lately?

    Because, although it is wanted by many, it is not necessary to know every candidate’s full positions in detail so early in the process. That’s what candidacy announcements, debates, and primaries are for.

    Merlin in reply to GoldenAh. | March 27, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    “Why can’t one candidate find the guts to discuss this issue intelligently? How about expressing compassion for underemployed and unemployed Americans, and against the exploitation of illegal aliens? It can be done. It used to be done.”

    This was a time before progressives had successfully carved the nation’s citizens into a virtually unlimited number of victimized, paranoid special interest groups craving the attention of any and all candidates pandering to their own particular perceived needs. Few people want to hear about what’s good for the nation as a whole unless and until their own special interests have been addressed. Even then the solutions cannot cause any personal pain or sacrifice to our nation of one issue voters. How does an honest, principled candidate push a greater good agenda when the truth cannot be spoken to folks too selfish to hear it?

    bw222 in reply to GoldenAh. | March 27, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Few things have destroyed this country more than political correctness. We will win if the discussion is based on facts. We will lose if the discussion is based on emotion (e.g. Jeb Bush’s “act of love” and “highly moral Hispanic family” lies.