- The Washington Times - Monday, March 2, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose presidential star has been rising in recent weeks, says his views on immigration have changed and part of the reason why he firmly opposes amnesty is because of how President Obama has mishandled the issue.

Asked by the Wausau Daily Herald in 2013 whether he could envision a world where people who pay the right penalties and meet requirements get citizenship, he said, “Sure, yes. I mean, I think it makes sense.”

Mr. Walker said on “Fox News Sunday,” however, that he doesn’t believe in amnesty, pointing out that he’s joined a lawsuit along with other states against Mr. Obama’s immigration executive actions.

“And then going forward, I think the way you enforce it is not through amnesty,” Mr. Walker said. “I think the better approach is to enforce the laws and to give employers, job creators, the tools like E-Verify and other things, to make sure the law is being upheld going forward.”

As Milwaukee County Executive in 2006, he also signed a resolution calling on Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration plan that many critics derided as amnesty.

“My view has changed. I’m flat out saying it,” he said. “I look at the problems we’ve experienced for the last few years. I’ve talked to governors on the border and others out there. I’ve talked to people all across America.”

Mr. Walker said the country needs to secure the border and put in place a legal immigration system that works.

“And part of doing this is put the onus on employers, getting them E-Verify and tools to do that. But I don’t think you do it through amnesty,” he said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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