How to interpret Scott Walker's evolution on amnesty
As I have previously written, Scott Walker was for the Teddy Kennedy Amnesty bill of 2006, and as recently as 2013 he told Politico that he was still in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens. But now Scott Walker has publicly acknowledged changing his views and says he's against amnesty.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a presumptive 2016 Republican presidential candidate, says he has changed his immigration stance and no longer backs comprehensive reform that would allow illegal immigrants to be penalized but remain in the country.
“My view has changed,” Walker said in a “Fox News Sunday” interview taped Friday. “I’m flat out saying it.”
“I don’t believe in amnesty,” said Walker, who finished second Saturday in the Conservative Political Action Conference’s straw poll for potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates. “We need to secure the border. We ultimately need to put in place a system that works -- a legal immigration system that works.”
Should we view his change as sincere? I think the answer is clear: no, we shouldn't.
It's one thing for a person to have one set of views, years and years ago, and then to change over time. Even Ronald Reagan was a Democrat decades before he became president. Some people also have leftist views in college, because of all the liberal brainwashing, and then snap out of it over time when exposed to reality.
But neither is the case here. This is not a view that Walker had many years ago, or when he was a youngster. This is a view he had as recently as two years ago, when he was governor of Wisconsin, as he still is.
And now he's running for president. Is there a single one of you reading this who believes that Scott Walker's change of views has nothing to do with him running for president?
So he obviously still believes in amnesty. The question is not what he believes, but what he will do. Is he simply lying, and planning to implement amnesty anyway once elected? Or, despite his own views, will he keep his word and oppose amnesty as part of a sincere quid pro quo to get conservatives to vote for him?
You see the problem. On amnesty he's a squish, like all the other Republicans running, except for Ted Cruz. But Ted Cruz may not be the nominee. If this is the case, how do people concerned with border security figure out whom to vote for?
Here's my guide. Let's hope someone tough like Mark Levin interviews them, and see the following:
1) Does the candidate support a physical barrier across the border with Mexico? Emphasis on the word "physical." Not cameras, to simply give us an Illegal Alien Running Man TV show; not cement barriers to stop pickup trucks. I'm talking about fences – two of them, actually, one behind the other, nine feet tall and lined with sharp barbed wire (the curly kind, that's my favorite kind!).
2) Does the candidate support denying benefits to illegals already here, such as a college education at a state school? College is one of the few goodies that the Supreme Court has not yet found a right to for illegal aliens.
3) Does the candidate support deporting illegals already in America?
4) Does the candidate think illegals should be able to apply for sanctuary based on a general "gang fear" or fear of spouse? A common dodge for illegals is to claim that an angry spouse, or a gang, will pursue them in every corner of their country, and so they are safe only in America. It's totally ridiculous; asylum is supposed to apply only to a handful of political cases.
5) Does the candidate think people with serious diseases should be admitted for citizenship?
6) Does the candidate think that people guilty of any crime in America should be considered for citizenship?
7) How long does the border have to be secure before the candidate will consider what to do with those remaining? In an ideal world, all illegals would be deported. But realistically, no candidate is going to commit to this. At a minimum, however, a candidate should be willing to pledge that he will not even consider citizenship for some illegals here until the border has been secured for x number of years. If a candidate won't commit to that, then you know it's more of "amnesty now; security later, or never."
If you can get concrete answers to these questions, you may have a better feeling of which candidates are more likely to betray us on the issue of illegal aliens and which are less. Some of the others, like Marco Rubio, are in the same boat as Scott Walker; Marco now wants to walk back his support for amnesty. But Scott Walker has at least done some good things in his time in government, while Marco's main issue has been amnesty.
Let me know in the comments section what you think of the value of these kinds of questions to measure the Republicans' degree of squishiness on amnesty.
Pedro Gonzales is the editor of Newsmachete.com, the conservative news site.