- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said earlier this year that his view has changed on immigration, but he says a flip-flop would be someone who voted a certain way and then did something different.

“Years ago, when I was asked more than about a decade ago when I was a county official about something and giving a quick momentary reaction to that versus in a comment a few years ago as a governor asking a question about it versus actually looking at this issue and saying what is my policy,” he told Fox News’ Bret Baier. “A flip would be someone who voted on something and did something different. … I don’t have any impact on immigration as a governor; I don’t have any impact as a former county official.”

Asked by the Wausau Daily Herald in 2013 whether he could see a world where people who take the right steps and pay penalties could get citizenship, Mr. Walker said, “Sure, yes. I mean, I think it makes sense.” As Milwaukee county executive in 2006, he also signed a resolution calling on Congress to pass a broad immigration plan that many critics slammed as amnesty.

Mr. Walker, who has criticized President Obama’s handling of the issue and opposes what he calls amnesty, said he would have an impact on the issue if he were to run for president and ultimately win, and that he’s talked to border state governors, members of the House and Senate, and people who care about the issue all across the country.

“[What’s] clear to me is we’re a nation of immigrants; I love the people who’ve come here from other places around the world — they want to live the American Dream, that’s great,” he said. “But we have a broken system today that needs to be fixed, and like I said you need to secure the borders; [it’s] why I went down there with [Texas Gov. Greg] Abbott … make sure you do so in a way that allows us to enforce the laws, and for legal immigration, we need to have a system that makes sure that American workers and wages are at the top of our list of priorities.”

Indeed, Mr. Walker reiterated his call to connect legal immigration levels with American wages — a position that goes further than even some Republicans.

Mr. Walker said there are restrictions on legal immigration already in place but that “they should actually have a rational criteria.”

“This bureaucracy that’s in place right now doesn’t have that. I’ve said we’ve got a problem — [we’ve] got to secure the border, we got to enforce the law, no amnesty — if someone wants to be a citizen they need to go back to their country of origin and go down the normal pathway and along with that as a legal pathway forward not for people here, but for legal immigration, people who want to enter this country legally though the legal immigration process, it should be one based on standing up and making priority number one American workers, American wages and a strong way to improve the American economy,” he said.

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