Scott Walker: I’m not for amnesty, I’m for making legal immigration easier

posted at 5:21 pm on November 20, 2013 by Allahpundit

Is there any Republican anywhere, whether running for dog catcher or president of the United States, who cops to being for “amnesty”? McCain doesn’t. Lindsey Graham doesn’t. Marco Rubio certainly doesn’t. All of them take great pains to distinguish what they consider amnesty — unconditional legalization for illegals, no questions asked — from what comprehensive immigration reform requires as part of the legalization process (learn English, back taxes, waiting period, etc). Define “amnesty” strictly enough and most liberals probably aren’t for it either. Border hawks, on the other hand, typically define “amnesty” in one of two ways. Some consider any path to citizenship — or even legal status — a form of amnesty regardless of the conditions imposed because it rewards someone who broke the law by giving them what they want, i.e. the right to reside in the United States. Other hawks (like me) focus on one key condition, namely, significant improvements to border security. Do that first, measurably, before any form of legal status is granted, and then legalization can follow. If you don’t, if legalization is independent of increased security — the fatal flaw of the Gang of Eight bill — then you’re setting yourself up to repeat this charade 25 years from now with another mass legalization of illegals who’ve entered in the interim.

Long story short, no one’s for “amnesty,” even people like McCain, Graham, and Rubio who are, by my definition, most assuredly for it. Where does Scott Walker, potential GOP nominee, stand? Hint: Not for “amnesty.”

Towards the end of the interview, Bannon noted that “Amnesty is about the sovereignty of the country.” But, he asked Walker, “the Washington Post said earlier that you’re pro-pathway to citizenship.”

“See now that’s where they take it out of context,” Walker said in response. “I’ve not said there should be amnesty in this country. I don’t believe that. I don’t support the legislation being kicked around. What I’ve said repeatedly is we need to fix the immigration system, but fix the legal system. So if people want to come in this country we should have a legal immigration system.”

Bannon then interjected: “And take care of the borders and everything we have to do first.”

Walker concurred, saying that any immigration reform efforts should “fix the front door.”

What does he have in mind for fixing the front door? I haven’t seen him comment on this subject at length (why would any Republican governor want to handle this grenade when he doesn’t have to?), but twice already this year he’s made remarks that make it sound like he’s more interested in the legalization side of the equation than the security part. Ed wrote about it back in February and I noted it when it came up again in July. In both cases, but especially in the latter (watch the video below), he emphasized that a more permissive legal immigration process would solve, in some large part, America’s illegal immigration process. I … suppose that’s true. If you line up the Border Patrol at the border to hand out visas to people as they stream across, that would indeed technically reduce illegal immigration to zero. If you’re going to make the requirements for entry so easy that people can have visas more or less on demand, though, how is that different from legalizing them en masse after they’ve already arrived, like the Gang of Eight wants to do? It’s one thing to say that people in other countries with advanced degrees, entrepreneurial wherewithal, or scientific/engineering training should have a quick pass through the turnstile, but Walker doesn’t seem to be keying on that distinction. He actually says of increased border security at 1:30 in the vid, “I don’t know if you need any of that if you had a better, saner way to let people into the country in the first place.” Not even McCain or Graham would go that far, I’d bet.

But maybe none of this matters. There’s already a lightning rod for border hawks in the probable 2016 field in the form of Marco Rubio, and none of the rest of the field with the notable exception of Ted Cruz is likely to deviate greatly from the Walker line here — pay lip service to border control while calling for a much easier legalization process, if only to try to win back some of the Latino voters the GOP’s lost over the years. In fact, if Jeb Bush is right about the House passing immigration reform next year (and I think he is), this whole subject will be even easier for the candidates in 2016. They’ll criticize the bill for its failures in improving border security to impress righties and praise it for its attempt to find a humane solution to the limbo state illegals find themselves in to impress Latinos. Only Cruz might pound the table about it. Emphasis on “might.”

Exit question: He says in the excerpt above that his support for a path to citizenship was taken out of context. Was it? Watch at 2:15 below. Seems pretty clear. It’s out of context only in the sense that his focus is on making it easier for people to get here legally in the first place, not on the 11 million illegals who are already here. But when asked specifically about the latter, his response is straightforward.


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Obama bin Hussein, doing to Americans’ health care what Sherman did to Atlanta.

VorDaj on November 20, 2013 at 10:58 PM

Other hawks (like me) focus on one key condition, namely, significant improvements to border security. Do that first, measurably, before any form of legal status is granted, and then legalization can follow.

Allah

Amen. But there are other hawks (like me) who openly mock the notion of significant improvements actually happening in this country, given that we have a criminal element in the White House and controlling the Senate — Democrats. They criminally refuse to enforce our laws, and will work in every way to enable illegal immigration — like D.C. and California and Illinois making illegal aliens de facto legal residents with drivers licenses.

As for Walker’s “fix legal immigration” blather, I don’t get it. We have an extraordinarily generous legal immigration practice right now. WTF do they want wider immigration for?

Jaibones on November 20, 2013 at 11:14 PM

Scott Walker: I’m not for amnesty, I’m for making legal immigration easier

Illegal immigration hurts unions, so isn’t that the point?

Between some of these Republicans and the unions themselves, there’s much in the way of self-inflicted wounds going on here.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 21, 2013 at 12:38 AM

My understanding is it takes a very long time to attain citizenship legally. Perhaps that’s what he meant by fixing legal immigration.

rlwo2008 on November 21, 2013 at 7:47 AM

…pay lip service to border control while calling for a much easier legalization process, if only to try to win back some of the Latino voters the GOP’s lost over the years.

This makes me insane. Levin and others have already crunched the numbers and shown that no matter how ‘Latino-Friendly’ the GOP votes, Latinos still overwhelmingly vote Democrat. Even after Reagan’s sweeping (and later, regrettable) Amnesty bill, Latinos went for the jack-ass party. So will someone start calling any witless Republicans who are for such ‘solutions’ out on this?

CaptFlood on November 21, 2013 at 8:29 AM

It won’t matter how much we beef up border security (or visa over-stay enforcement), if we don’t address what is incentivizing so many foreigners to break our immigration laws in the first place.

We must stop paying out billions of dollars a year to illegal aliens in food stamps, welfare, Medicaid & Medicare, “tax credits” and all the rest of the “free” goodies they come here to get.

Turn off the spigots to the U.S. Treasury for illegal aliens, and we’ll soon find that we have a whole lot fewer of them to worry about.

AZCoyote on November 21, 2013 at 8:59 AM

On the other hand just let the slide by on the little white lies, hell the borders are not important any longer, just a place to run guns or do a DEA enabled drug deal with the Zeta enforcers.

Brian Terry, no biggie,

Sex camps of Mexican women in Fl. orange groves, no big deal.

China food restaurants with van loads of “indenture wage slaves” driving in from homes with one door that is locked 24/7 except for the drive to the slave camp,,, no big deal….

90 million born in American to American parents with no job or a part time job due to the wage slave border jumpers… no big deal,,,

American kids with Computer Science degrees in competion with grown men from India with 5 years IT time, who will work for $30,000.00 a year for MicroGreed,,,, no big deal,

Just do the little white lie for the leaders of the Republican side of the two party evil money cult,,,,, and Scott Walker gets his split of the pie of pork gold,,,,,,,

This is a crooked horse trader with no class,,, selling the same lame horse that little George Bush tried to sell not that long ago.

Just say no.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 21, 2013 at 9:05 AM

This is issue is poorly positioned by those (like me) who support new immigration legislation and reform.

Since 9/11 the immigration laws have been modified over 1000 times – so that today they are a jumbled mess. It is a nightmare to get talented people to move to the USA to work.

CEO’s, Governors, there are legitimate reasons these people support immigration reforms.

These are not stupid people – but unfortunately they are not articulating the issue well enough.

This is not about border fences.

jake-the-goose on November 21, 2013 at 9:19 AM

I dunno.

I have to believe there are reasonable, responsible positions that Conservatives can stake out regarding immigration.

Somewhere in between: Round ‘Em Up, Throw ‘Em Out and actual (correctly defined) pure amnesty.

A complex issue, to be sure.

So many factors:
1) Reasonably securing the border
2) Cleaning up and streamlining the legal immigration process
3) What then to do with people already living in this country who don’t have legal status.

I used to think the above was the proper order in which to address things (but, then again, I also used to be so hawkish on immigration that I would have made Mark Krikorian blush…)

But…

I’m not sure anymore.
I am thinking that if we don’t deal with #3 first, we won’t get the chance to even talk about #1 because people who disagree with us will simply shut us out if we keep harping on Border Security without seeming to care about actual people.

I think it’s more than just optics. I think it gets down to human decency and compassion.

That’s why it might be best to first focus on and figure out a humane way to deal with our multitude of current illegal residents.

Once that’s done, then let’s work on #1 and #2 simultaneously.

RightWay79 on November 21, 2013 at 9:33 AM

The media is going to twist anything our republican leaders say into the media message of the day, to try to get their way on immigration reform which for them is approval of Amnesty. You can’t say the border is fixed right now, and if you say it needs fixing the media is going to tell the story that Scott Walker or Paul Ryan has come out in favor of Amnesty. Their message, everyone is in favor, get the bill on the table. When there is not agreement on the fix, and republicans do not trust

The Liar in Chief.

Fleuries on November 21, 2013 at 9:34 AM

My understanding is it takes a very long time to attain citizenship legally. Perhaps that’s what he meant by fixing legal immigration.

rlwo2008 on November 21, 2013 at 7:47 AM

This is what I think. If our process needs reforms because we have a huge backlog of cases that haven’t even been seen then fix it. I have no problem with legal immigration. Front door, background check, citizenship classes, the whole shebang.

This is issue is poorly positioned by those (like me) who support new immigration legislation and reform.

Since 9/11 the immigration laws have been modified over 1000 times – so that today they are a jumbled mess. It is a nightmare to get talented people to move to the USA to work.

CEO’s, Governors, there are legitimate reasons these people support immigration reforms.

These are not stupid people – but unfortunately they are not articulating the issue well enough.

This is not about border fences.

jake-the-goose on November 21, 2013 at 9:19 AM

The problem is the “legitimate reasons” are cheap labor. The fact that this country has real UE way over 8% and our CEOs and businesses want to bring in foreign workers ticks off middle class and working class Americans. We have talented people right here. Find them. Advertise. Recruit. Stop trying to get highly trained workers for third world wages.

And most of the illegals they would grant amnesty to are low skilled and uneducated. They cost society money and the middle class is being hit on every single front already. We don’t have anymore money to give you. We have Obamacare raising our premiums, we have high UE and a bad economy, no bailouts for us, and all our reps can talk about is bringing in more competition for our jobs. That’s their economic plan…it just doesn’t include us. And never mind that those of us who have kids in public education will watch budgets that are already stretched be directed to help children who cannot speak our language. We cannot afford to save the world for you. My property taxes are high enough. I want to be able to keep my house.

What do these CEOs do to mitigate the cost of their cheap labor? Articulate that for me, please.

Its frustrating to me because it seems like we don’t have a single politician in this country that gives a crap. And they are supposed to take care of the citizens of this country first.

magicbeans on November 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM

What do these CEOs do to mitigate the cost of their cheap labor? Articulate that for me, please.

Its frustrating to me because it seems like we don’t have a single politician in this country that gives a crap. And they are supposed to take care of the citizens of this country first.

magicbeans on November 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM

You are partially right – cheap labor – yes – but more importantly – educated and experienced labor.

Cheap labor – what’s wrong with that? We do live in a competitive capitalist system. Businesses are in business to make money for those who put their capital at risk – they want a return.

My own business has a need for an experienced EU financing expert – and I cannot get through the VISA procedures – having been working on it for 4 months – it’s complete idiotic.

And don’t say “enforce existing laws” – because a law passed yesterday is therefore defined as “existing”

Our immigration laws are a mess

Protect the border – 100% yes
Enforce laws – YES – assuming they are rational – they are not

jake-the-goose on November 21, 2013 at 9:52 AM

jake-the-goose on November 21, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Are you telling me you cannot find a legal citizen to do the job? Or are you saying you can find one overseas for cheaper? Why should I support policies that hurt me while helping your business? If it doesn’t bring jobs to American citizens why should I support the policy? Just because it helps you? If that is what is going to be articulated then it won’t help you convince anyone. How does amnesty or “immigration reform” help the country? How does it effect the UE and wages of Americans?

magicbeans on November 21, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Are you telling me you cannot find a legal citizen to do the job? Or are you saying you can find one overseas for cheaper? Why should I support policies that hurt me while helping your business? If it doesn’t bring jobs to American citizens why should I support the policy? Just because it helps you? If that is what is going to be articulated then it won’t help you convince anyone. How does amnesty or “immigration reform” help the country? How does it effect the UE and wages of Americans?

magicbeans on November 21, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Again – you are attempting to make this issue into ALL-YES or ALL-NO.

Big issues are rarely solved with a simple YES or NO – inside every big issue are hundreds of micro issues that have to be handled one at a time.

Just consider that concept.

jake-the-goose on November 21, 2013 at 10:06 AM

American capitalists need to re-discover their patriotism.

HB3 on November 21, 2013 at 10:13 AM

American kids with Computer Science degrees in competion with grown men from India with 5 years IT time, who will work for $30,000.00 a year for MicroGreed,,,, no big deal,

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 21, 2013 at 9:05 AM

This.

The middle class is being asked to slit its own throat.

magicbeans on November 21, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Jake the goose. Consider the concept? I asked open ended questions. How would unemployment be effected by amnesty? Yes. No. I don’t see how that makes sense. You may feel free to articulate the benefit of amnesty on the middle class with any words you like? But all you are doing is avoiding the question. Just answer the question?

magicbeans on November 21, 2013 at 10:21 AM

How would unemployment be effected by amnesty? Yes. No. I don’t see how that makes sense. You may feel free to articulate the benefit of amnesty on the middle class with any words you like? But all you are doing is avoiding the question. Just answer the question?

magicbeans on November 21, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Unemployment would be uneffected by Amnesty – they are already here.

I am not talking about amnesty – that is my point.

You want to lump everything in together – that is not being proposed.

Read the proposals

jake-the-goose on November 21, 2013 at 10:44 AM

If you listen to Scott Walker’s interview with the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, he is basically in favor of letting anyone who wants to come to the United States come here, regardless of education, skills, etc. Walker endorses open borders.

Other North American countries – Canada and Mexico – attempt to limit immigration to educated professionals who can make a greater contribution than picking apples or cherries. If a nation welcomes millions of immigrants who are illiterate in their native language, it results in a “dumbing down” process. The U.S. became a great nation because of the type of people who came here and they weren’t illiterates looking for handouts.

Like Mitt Romney, Scott Walker will learn that in the era of You Tube you cannot make public statements and then deny making them.

bw222 on November 21, 2013 at 10:59 AM

You may feel free to articulate the benefit of amnesty on the middle class with any words you like?

Jake the question was (see above).

magicbeans on November 21, 2013 at 11:03 AM

American capitalists need to re-discover their patriotism.

HB3 on November 21, 2013 at 10:13 AM

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t give a damn about the future of the country as long as its members max out their profit this quarter. The same may be said of some HA capitalists.

bw222 on November 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM

With his previous comments,don’t trust him!He will embrace amnesty just like all the other RINOs.He’s just posturing-trying to dodge the bullets flying from us very pissed off consrvatives.

redware on November 21, 2013 at 12:08 PM

If a Republican supports Amnesty (which is what comprehensive reform means) they’re off my list.

Whatever modest fiscal reforms you could possibly make would be dwarfed 100 times over if you legalize 20 million illegal aliens.

BradTank on November 21, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Employment and Unemployment
CBO estimates that S. 744 would cause the unemployment rate to increase slightly
between 2014 and 2020, relative to the rate projected under current law, but to have
no effect on the unemployment rate after 2020.

From the CBO report.

From what I have read the increased UE will come from the lowest and highest skilled workers. So young people once again are screwed by this as well as Obamacare. Nice future we’re leaving them. Go get educated and in debt up to your eyeballs and we’ll hire a foreigner instead. You won’t even be able to get a job at McDonalds.

My husband is an engineer and employed (knock on wood). When the news that 950 jobs would likely be moved to Texas he decided to take a look at the options out there and it was pretty bleak. I am not going to support immigration reform when nothing has been done to fix our economy no matter how many times Obama has focused like a laser on jobs. The middle class is being sacrificed to moneyed interests that want cheap labor even when we have obscenely high UE. Remember they cooked the books to make UE fall below 8% in 2012. Real UE is much higher. Anything that makes UE higher at this time when the middle class is being hit by Obamacare and higher local taxes to take care of Medicaid and public education is morally wrong in my book.

magicbeans on November 21, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Scott Walker: I’m not for amnesty, I’m for making legal immigration easier

All of them take great pains to distinguish what they consider amnesty — unconditional legalization for illegals, no questions asked…

They love to play these word games but two can play at it. Their “immigration reform” isn’t. The 20 million illegals aren’t immigrating anywhere, they are already here.

So if it’s not “amnesty” and it isn’t “immigration reform” what is it? Simple, it’s 20 million new Democrat voters.

RJL on November 21, 2013 at 6:15 PM

At least he’s somewhat honest!

mmcnamer1 on November 21, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Leadership means defining the agenda, not reacting to it.

The only part of immigration that is really broken is enforcement on the southern border. Other than that there are more important issues.

virgo on November 22, 2013 at 12:18 AM

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