There Is No Difference Between Bush And Walker On Immigration

Conn Carroll
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Posted: Mar 18, 2015 11:30 AM
There Is No Difference Between Bush And Walker On Immigration

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has run into a little bit of trouble on immigration again, this time forcing a communications aide off his staff after Democrats pushed out old tweets from the aide disparaging Rep. Steve King (R-IA), a well-known opponent of amnesty.

"In other news, I see Iowa is once again embarrassing itself, and the GOP, this morning. Thanks, guys," the aide, Liz Mair tweeted, referring to King's January 24th Iowa Freedom Summit where Walker, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Carly Fiorina, and other possible Republican presidential candidates spoke.

Walker's troubles with immigration began in January when opponents began circulating prior statements of his showing that Walker has endorsed both a "path to citizenship" generally and the Senate's Gang of 8 bill specifically.

Walker has since tried to walk those positions back, telling Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace on March 1st, "My view has changed, I’m flat-out saying it. Candidates can say that, sometimes they don’t."

And Walker's view on immigration has changed. Here he is on immigration in July of 2013: "You hear some people talk about border security and a wall and all that. To me, I don't know that you need any of that if you had a better, saner way to let people into the country in the first place."

And here is Walker in March 2015: "I've talked to people all across America. And the concerns I have is that we need to secure the border. We ultimately need to put in place a system that works. 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."

So Walker has shifted from believing a secure border wasn't really necessary to now believing that it is.

But what about those illegal immigrants already here? What is Walker's position on that? Again, from March 1st:

WALLACE: The question was, can you envision a world where if these people paid a penalty, that they would have a path to citizenship? And you said, sure, that makes sense.

WALKER: I believe there's a way that you can do that. First and foremost, you've got to secure that border or none of these plans make any sense.

(emphasis added) Notice the present tense. Walker still believes that illegal immigrants currently in the United States should be given a path to citizenship, but only if you secure the border first, which is a not uncommon Republican position on immigration.

But how is it any different than Jeb Bush's position?

Here is Jeb from March 13

It’s easy to say, ‘Well, anything you propose is amnesty,’ but that’s not a plan. That’s a sentiment, that’s not a plan. I think the best plan, the most realistic plan, the grown up plan, if you will, is once you control the border and you’re confident it’s not going to be another magnet, is to say, ‘Let’s let these folks achieve earned legal status where they work, where they come out of the shadows.’”

So both Walker and Bush believe we should "secure"/"control" the border first (whatever that means), and then, only after that is accomplished, can we give legal status/citizenship to illegal immigrants currently in the United States.

If there is any difference between Walker and Bush on immigration, I do not see it.