Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a possible 2016 GOP contender, appeared to embrace the idea of a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants Tuesday, according to a Wisconsin newspaper.
In a meeting with the Daily Herald Media Editorial Board, (flagged by political blog The Run 2016,) Walker reportedly criticized some aspects of the Senate-passed comprehensive immigration reform bill but said the federal government must “fix things for people already here.”
“Not only do they need to fix things for people already here, or find some way to do it, there’s got to be a larger way to fix the system in the first place,” he said. “Because if it wasn’t so cumbersome, if there wasn’t such a long wait, if it wasn’t so difficult to get in, we wouldn’t have the other problems that we have (with people living here illegally),” he said.
Walker, whose popularity with grassroots conservatives and fundraising fire-power has landed him on many a 2016-contenders-to-watch list, also noted that many farms in his state depend on migrant labor, much of it provided by individuals in the country illegally, the paper reported.
“If people want to come here and work hard and benefit, I don’t care whether they come from Mexico or Ireland or Germany or Canada or South Africa or anywhere else,” he said. “I want them here.”
First published July 3 2013, 7:44 AM