Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) reportedly told a group of New Hampshire Republicans on March 13 that he supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, contradicting his recent statements on the issue.
“He said no to citizenship now, but later they could get it,” Bill Greiner told The Wall Street Journal about Walker’s comments at the private event.
Franklin Mayor Ken Merrifield (R), another attendee, claimed Walker said undocumented immigrants should “get to the back of the line for citizenship” but not face deportation.
This position would appear to contradict what Walker has said recently, including the day after the New Hampshire event, according to The Journal. In 2013, Walker told the Wausau Daily Herald that “it makes sense” to have a pathway to citizenship. However, he said on March 1 that he “absolutely” changed his mind on the issue after witnessing the recent problems along the US-Mexican border.
Walker campaign spokespeople did not immediately return a request for comment from Business Insider on The Journal’s story. However, spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski told the paper that Walker remained steadfast in his opposition to “amnesty.”
“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.”
Immigration reform is one of the most hot-button issues in Republican Party activists, with activists vehemently opposed to expanding citizenship to undocumented immigrants. However, The Journal suggestsed Walker may have trying to appeal to “business leaders and general election voters who have been more supportive of granting legal status to undocumented immigrants.”
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