Governor Scott Walker Supports Pathway To Citizenship for Illegals – Scott Walker Shifts Stance on Immigration at Private Dinner

Likely GOP presidential candidate says he backs allowing undocumented immigrants becoming eligible for citizenship


March 26, 2015 1:18 p.m. ET

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 and haven’t been reported previously, vary from the call he has made in recent weeks 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.

The changing positions by Mr. Walker, a likely candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, show the difficulty that some in the Republican Party face as they try to appeal both to the conservative GOP primary electorate—which largely opposes liberalizing immigration laws—and business leaders and general election voters who have been more supportive of granting legal status to undocumented immigrants.

Mr. Walker’s “no amnesty” position was itself a change from his prior decadelong support for a pathway to citizenship. He has explained in public that his recent shift to a more restrictive view came after consulting with border-state governors and hearing from people opposed to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

But during the March 13 New Hampshire dinner, organized by New Hampshire Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Horn at the Copper Door Restaurant in Bedford, Mr. Walker said undocumented immigrants shouldn’t be deported, and he mocked 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s suggestion that they would “self-deport,” according to people who were there.

Instead, they said, Mr. Walker said undocumented immigrants should be allowed to “eventually get their citizenship without being given preferential treatment” ahead of people already in line to obtain citizenship.

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

Mr. Walker’s statements about citizenship were at odds with what he told reporters the next day in Concord, where he defended his position opposing a path to citizenship.

“This is one where we listened to the people all across the country, especially border governors who saw how this president messed that up,’’ he said. “And that’s an issue where I think where people want leaders who are willing to listen to people.“

A Walker spokeswoman, Kirsten Kukowski, on Thursday didn’t address the comments governor made at the March 13 dinner supporting a path to citizenship. “Gov. Walker has repeatedly said that President Obama’s unconstitutional executive action and the collateral damage it has had on his fellow governors has made it evident that border security must be the top priority before we can have a conversation about anything else,” she said. “He is opposed to amnesty. There must be consequences for violating our laws.”

Mr. Walker plans to tour the Mexican border on Friday with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has sued to stop President Barack Obama’s executive action aimed at reducing deportations of illegal immigrants.

For more than a decade before seriously entertaining a presidential campaign, Mr. Walker publicly favored a broad overhaul of immigration laws.

At a 2002 Mexican Independence Day event in Milwaukee, Wis., Mr. Walker, then the county executive, signed a resolution that praised the economic and civic contributions of undocumented immigrants and called for “a new program similar to the Federal amnesty program enacted by Congress in 1986.”

In 2006 Mr. Walker signed another county resolution backing the immigration proposal authored by Sens. John McCain (R., Ariz.) and Ted Kennedy (D., Mass.) that would have granted legal status to many illegal immigrants.

As late as 2013, Mr. Walker told Politico he backed a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and told the Wausau Daily Herald more border security wasn’t necessary.

“You hear some people talk about border security and a wall and all that,” he told the Wisconsin paper in a videotaped interview. “To me, I don’t know that you need any of that if you had a better, saner way to let people into the country in the first place.”

Mr. Walker has shifted his stances on other aspects of immigration law. In May 2010, after Arizona lawmakers passed tough restrictions on illegal immigrants, Mr. Walker told the Associated Press he had “serious concerns” about the law because it “impedes on the inherent right of the federal government to do its job and to protect our borders, and also because in America we don’t want our citizens getting pulled over because of how they look.”

Hours later Mr. Walker, then in a Republican primary for governor, reversed himself. “I too would sign the Arizona immigration bill,” he said, after conservatives inundated his Facebook page to criticize his first position.

On the 2016 campaign trail, Mr. Walker has sought to portray himself as an unabashed conservative. This year, he has signed right-to-work legislation, which is vigorously opposed by labor unions, and signaled support for a state ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. In a 2014 campaign advertisement, Mr. Walker had said he backed abortion legislation that “leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor.”

Among the front-runners for the 2016 Republican nomination, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is in favor of a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Mr. Bush noted this month that Mr. Walker had “changed his position on immigration” to a more restrictive stance.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was a co-sponsor of the 2013 Senate immigration bill that, among other provisions, would have created a pathway to citizenship. He has since disavowed a comprehensive approach.

Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas, in his campaign announcement speech Monday, bemoaned “the president’s unconstitutional executive amnesty” that shelters many illegal immigrants from deportation. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is to announce his campaign April 7, last June said “amnesty is a word that’s trapped us” and said he is “for immigration reform.” Mr. Paul voted against the 2013 Senate immigration bill.

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The Many Costs of Obama’s Amnesty

by Phyllis Schlafly

Since the costs will come due only after Obama has left the White House, I guess he doesn’t care how high are those costs. But the costs are horrendous, as just added up by our country’s foremost authority on such things, Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation.

Rector told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week that the lifetime costs of Social Security and Medicare benefits paid to the millions of illegal aliens to whom Obama is granting legal status will be about 1.3 trillion dollars. Rector’s calculation is based on his assumption that at least 3.97 million illegal aliens will receive legal status under DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents), and the average DAPA beneficiary has only a 10th grade education.

illegal aliensDAPA recipients, according to Rector’s calculations, would receive $7.8 billion every year once they get access to the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the refundable Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). Those EITC and ACTC recipients will also be allowed to claim credit for three years of illegal work, which would sock the U.S. taxpayers for another $23.5 billion.

This was confirmed by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who told Congress on February 11 that illegal immigrants who didn’t pay any taxes, or who used fake Social Security numbers, will nevertheless be able to claim back-refunds under EITC once they get new Social Security numbers under Obama’s amnesty. Koskinen said he didn’t know how much these tax refunds will cost and the White House never checked with him before announcing the amnesty.

The average DAPA-eligible family already receives about $6,600 a year in means-tested welfare benefits. That includes food stamps, school lunch (and breakfast), Medicaid, S-CHIP, and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children).

Many Americans labor under the false assumption that, since most legal and illegal immigrants are hard-working, they therefore do not depend on welfare assistance. In fact, as Rector patiently explains, most welfare benefits go to households with children headed by a low-income employed adult.

Rector estimates that the combined cost of means-tested welfare benefits the illegals now receive, plus other goodies such as EITC and ACTC cash, will encourage increased illegal immigration in the future. The average American, whose children and grandchildren will end up burdened with this enormous debt, must ask themselves whether someone is trying to destroy America.

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Judicial Watch: Homeland Security Releases 165,900 Illegals

Monday, 23 Mar 2015 06:26 PM

By Greg Richter

Judicial Watch on Monday released documents showing that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released 165,900 illegal aliens, some of whom had been convicted of violent crimes.

The release of 76 pages of documents showed that as of April 26, 2014, the illegal aliens had been released throughout the United States. Crimes included such serious offenses as homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, and aggravated assault.

That number, added to another 30,000 released in the past fiscal year, brings the total to 195,900.

The documents were released as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch on July 21, 2014. Judicial Watch filed the suit after the Department of Homeland Security failed to respond to a May 15, 2014, FOIA request.

“It’s appalling that we’ve had to sue in federal court to get key information about the Obama administration’s release of 165,950 convicted criminal aliens,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a press release. 

“These documents show the Obama administration is lying when it says that its ‘enforcement priorities’ include deporting illegal aliens who have committed heinous crimes,” Fitton said. 

Judicial Watch said the ICE documents confirm a May 2014 Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) report showing that in 2013 ICE freed 36,007 convicted criminal aliens, who had nearly 88,000 convictions. Those included 193 homicide convictions, 426 sexual assault convictions, and 303 kidnapping convictions, according to Judicial Watch.

Judicial Watch’s press release called those releases “the tip of the iceberg,” and quoted from a DHS document marked “FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY” on figures reported through April 26, 2014″

  • Non-Detained Final Order Convicted CRIMINAL 165,950
  • Non-Detained Final Order NON CRIMINAL 706,950
  • Non-Detained Final Order TOTAL 872,900

Judicial Watch notes that the term “Final Order” indicates that the illegal immigrants listed had been ordered to leave the United States but had not done so.

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