2016 Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker wants credit for fellow contender Donald Trump’s harsh immigration position, saying it’s “very similar” to the immigration position that Walker supported as Wisconsin governor.
“It’s similar to what I brought up about four or five months ago,” Walker said Monday on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” when host Steve Doocy asked whether he supported Trump’s plan. “Earlier in the year, I was on Fox News Sunday and laid out what I think we should do, which is to secure the border, build the wall, have the technology, have the personnel to make sure it’s safe and secure, enforce the law… and make sure people are here legally. I don’t believe in amnesty.”
Trump unveiled a detailed immigration policy outline on Sunday aimed at deporting millions of undocumented immigrants, building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and ending birthright citizenship for the children of immigrants born in the United States. “I haven’t looked at all the details of his, but the things I’ve heard are very similar to the things I mentioned to Chris Wallace on the show earlier this year,” Walker said of Trump’s plan, noting that he may support a legal immigration system that prioritizes American working families.
In his March 2015 interview with Wallace, Walker said that he didn’t support a pathway to citizenship, a far departure from the views he’s held over the past 13 years. “My view has changed. I’m flat out saying it,” Walker said at the time.
Walker, a county executive in Milwaukee County between 2002 and 2006, twice signed resolutions backing programs that would have granted legal status to undocumented immigrants. He told the Wausau Daily Herald editorial board in 2013 that “it makes sense” for some immigrants to get on a pathway to citizenship “with the right penalties and waiting periods and meet the requirements.”
But Walker has lately stayed the course on his newer anti-immigrant position. When confronted with people with the most to lose, Walker recently told a pair of siblings with an undocumented father that he “completely sympathize with the situation you’re all in and others are in,” but that “in American nobody’s above the law” when the younger sibling asked, “Do you want me to like come home and come from school and my dad get deported?”