Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took another step to the right Sunday, saying he has changed his views on immigration and no longer supports amnesty for undocumented immigrants. In an interview that aired on "Fox News Sunday," Walker, who is eyeing a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, said President Barack Obama has mishandled the entire issue.
Shortly after the November general election, Obama issued executive orders protecting some 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, including the parents of children born in the United States -- so-called anchor babies. The action has angered the many in the GOP-controlled Congress, and efforts to block Obama's actions led to the near shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security last week.
Since 2013, Walker had said he thought if the right penalties were imposed, illegal immigrants could become U.S. citizens after a waiting period, saying it made sense.
“My view has changed. I’m flat out saying it. Candidates can say that,” Walker said Sunday.
“I don’t believe in amnesty. We need to secure the border. We ultimately need to put in place a system that works -- a legal immigration that works. Part of doing this is putting the onus on employers.”
Walker said his change of heart came as a result of discussions with governors of border states.
Immigration isn't the only thing about which Walker has changed his mind recently. After pledging during his most recent election campaign for governor not to try to make Wisconsin a right-to-work state, he has come out strongly in support of legislation that would do just that. The bill that is being fast-tracked in the state Senate.
He also reversed himself Sunday on whether Obama loves his country. After saying earlier this month he couldn't speak for Obama and hadn't discussed the issue with him, he said during the interview that anyone who "is willing to put their name on the ballot certainly has to have the love for country."
He also has drawn ridicule for saying at Saturday's Conservative Political Action Conference that his experience in dealing with union protesters in Madison has prepared him to deal with the likes of the Islamic State group. He attempted to walk back that assertion in Sunday's interview.
"What I meant was it's about leadership, and the leadership we provided under extremely difficult circumstances," he said. "To me, I apply that to saying, 'If I were to run and if I were to win and be commander-in-chief, I believe that kind of leadership is what's necessary to take on radical Islamic terrorism.'"