MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The leader of a Milwaukee-based immigrant advocate group said Monday that Republican Gov. Scott Walker's immigration policies are inspired by racism.
The comments came hours before Walker's presidential announcement ceremony in Wisconsin as immigrant advocates held a teleconference to rail against his immigration policies.
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Milwaukee-based Voces de la Frontera, said Walker has an enforcement-first agenda — meaning he wants people living in the country illegally to leave.
"He supports an enforcement-first agenda and wants to limit legal migration to the United States," Neumann-Ortiz said. "To me that is a clear expression of someone who is really trying to sow the seeds of racial and ethnic hatred. "
Walker's campaign spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, said Walker "believes we are not only a nation of immigrants, we are a nation of laws and those laws should be respected."
"Recent attempts by extreme liberal activists to distort and mischaracterize Gov. Walker's position only underscore how much the far left fears his candidacy," Strong said.
Walker previously supported a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally, but changed his position in recent months.