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Thread: Article: Scott Walker’s Short-Sighted Views on Immigration Policy. By Wendy Feliz

  1. #1

    Article: Scott Walker’s Short-Sighted Views on Immigration Policy. By Wendy Feliz

    Scott Walker's Short-Sighted Views on Immigration Policy


    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has just become the 15th candidate to announce his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination. His public statements and policy choices as Governor demonstrate a policymaker lacking a clear and consistent view on immigration, who also used his budget authority as Governor to take higher education out of the reach of undocumented students in Wisconsin.

    With respect to his views on a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, the Associated Press reports that his view have changed over time:

    “As early as 2002, Walker supported creating a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally. Now he doesn’t. He attributed the shift to his conversations with border-state governors and voters nationwide. “

    His views now seem to closely reflect the failed enforcement-first strategy of past candidates like Mitt Romney. When interviewed by ABC News over the weekend he said: “My position on immigration is simple. Secure the border, enforce the laws.”

    When the anchor asked “You were at one point for a path to citizenship, no longer?”

    Walker responded “No, and I’ve laid it out. I said I’m clearly stating that. I’m not beating around the bush.”

    However last week the New York Times reported that Walker had a recent flip-flop on the issue noting on a call, “I’m not going nativist, I’m pro-immigration” and then later recanting his statement via a campaign staffer.

    Despite his words, his actions ring clear. While Governor of Wisconsin, Walker used his budget authority to repeal in-state tuition for undocumented students. This policy was designed to grant Wisconsin high school graduates with access to in-state tuition rates and allows all Wisconsin kids to continue their education and ultimately meet their full potential as better contributors to a state’s economy. Clearly, Walker did not see the wisdom in this program when he brought it to an end.

    It’s still early in the race and there is very little information available via his campaign website. However, Governor Walker’s actions, coupled with his latest public statements, show a candidate with an antiquated view of immigration. Walker has done little creative thinking on how to systematically reform and update American’s immigration system to meet the needs of the American economy and strong communities.

    Photo by Gage Skidmre.

    This post originally appeared on Immigration Impact. Reprinted with permission.

    About The Author

    Wendy Feliz is the Director of Communications at the American Immigration Council. Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Feliz served as Director of Development at New America Media, after having worked at the Open Society Institute, and public radio station WAMU 88.5 as the Manager of Foundation Relations and Public Information. Ms. Feliz has spent much of her career in the non-profit world including with The California Hispanic Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in East Los Angeles and The Young Adult Institute and Latino Worker’s Center in New York City. Ms. Feliz received her M.A. in Public Communication from the American University in Washington D.C. and she holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the New School University in New York.

    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of

  2. #2
    Retired INS
    I am a die hard republican, but I spent 39 years with immigration and prefer Marco Rubio's immigration views. Most Americans don't realize that even illegal aliens who pay rent indirectly pay property taxes, which fund our schools. Therefore, it is wrong to deny in state tuition to illegal aliens who have lived in that state for more than a year (or whatever the requirement is to qualify for in state tuition rates). Why don't democrats point out this simple fact, rather than call republicans racists. The fact is, democrats would want closed borders if new citizens voted republican. Democrats care about votes, not Hispanics.

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