Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) appeared to back away from his support for a pathway to citizenship during an appearance on Morning Joe on Wednesday, telling the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein that he only supports “fixing the legal immigration system, not going beyond that”:
STEIN: Governor, I remember after the 2012 election, you came out forcefully and said the Republican party needed to recognize certain realities. You talked about how gay marriage is a dead issue. You endorse something like a pathway to citizenship for people who were here illegally or undocumented people. Do you feel like the Republican party has taken the necessary steps since the 2012 election to modernize itself and if not how would you advise the Republican party in congress to take those steps?
WALKER: Well, sure. With one correction, though, on immigration I talked about fixing the legal immigration system, not going beyond that.
But during an interview with the Daily Herald Media Editorial Board of Wisconsin in July, Walker clearly endorsed a legalization process. “If 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,” he said.
Asked directly about whether he would “envision a world where with the right penalties and waiting periods and meet the requirements where those people could get citizenship?” Walker responded, “Sure, I mean I think it makes sense.”
Unfortunately, the Wisconsin governor isn’t the only potential GOP presidential candidate to walk back his support for immigration reform. Earlier this month, Chris Christie refused to call on lawmakers to include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in legislation to reform the nation’s immigration system.