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Presidential hopeful Scott Walker changes immigration stance again with embrace of reform

Friday, 27 March 2015

Republican and potential 2016 candidate reportedly embraced of pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants at private dinner

Wisconsin governor and Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker embraced a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants at a recent private dinner in New Hampshire, according to a report published on Thursday in the Wall Street Journal.

Citing sources who attended the 13 March dinner, the report stated that Walker mocked former Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s infamous comment that illegal immigrants should “self-deport”, while expressing his own view that undocumented immigrants should “eventually get their citizenship without being given preferential treatment”.

Walker’s remarks, as reported, reflect yet another change of heart with regard to his stance on what to do with the millions of immigrants already in the country illegally. Walker had indicated his support for a pathway to citizenship before, but recently said his views had changed and adopted instead the “anti-amnesty” position shared among conservatives who oppose citizenship.

A spokeswoman for Walker did not immediately return the Guardian’s request for comment, but told the Wall Street Journal that the governor remained “opposed to amnesty”.

She did not address his comments at the dinner, which was organized by the New Hampshire Republican party.

Given the contentious politics around immigration among Republicans, the issue is expected to be front and center in the 2016 primaries as they choose their candidate for president.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has stood by his support for a pathway to citizenship, as has Florida senator Marco Rubio, who co-authored the bipartisan immigration reform bill passed by the Senate in 2013.

At the other end of the spectrum are the likes of Texas senator Ted Cruz, the first official presidential candidate and one of the most vocal critics of Barack Obama’s immigration policies. Cruz’s campaign declined to comment on reports that Walker is once again warming up to the idea of a pathway to citizenship.

Polling shows that Republican voters are divided on the issue.

A majority of Americans are in favor of immigration reform.

Source: The Guardian

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