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Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the Latest to Endorse Path to Citizenship

by Pili Tobar on 02/25/2013 at 1:59pm

scott walkerPOLITICO reports that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) endorsed a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants on Friday saying:

We just have a broken system.  And to me, if somebody wants to come in and live the American dream and work hard…we should have a system that works and let’s people in…The vast majority of people want to come here for the right reasons.  They want to live the American dream.

Of the frequently mentioned potential Republican 2016 presidential candidates, Governor Walker now joins the likes of Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in adopting an enlightened view on immigration reform.

Speaking of the Republican Party’s immigration stance in 2012 presidential elections, Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) said:

Republican candidates this year did a lot of damage to the brand,” and, “If we want people to like us, we have to like them first…You don’t start to like people by insulting them and saying their votes were bought. We are an aspirational party.

Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) said:

We have to realize: We’re not going to deport 12 million people…It’s just not going to happen.

Governor Susana Martinez (R-NM) said:

I absolutely advocate for comprehensive immigration reform…Republicans want to be tough and say, ‘Illegals, you’re gone.’ But the answer is a lot more complex than that.

And even former Senator Rick Santorum said:

I think the fact that we send some of those people back and don’t give them the opportunity to participate here is wrong.

As Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said:

The fact that a very conservative Midwestern governor is joining the ranks of Republican presidential hopefuls who support immigration reform with a path to citizenship shows just how dramatically the politics of this issue have changed. The question now becomes whether Speaker of the House John Boehner, Majority Whip Eric Cantor and the House Republican conference will pave the way or get in the way.  They can allow their members to block reform and have their nominee pay the price nationally, or they can pass reform and provide their nominee with the chance to compete for Latino voters.  Unless and until the GOP helps pass immigration reform, the Party’s presidential nominee is likely to find the Republican brand so degraded with Latino voters that it is next to impossible to win the White House.

See Updated America’s Voice Quotes Sheet – Republican & Conservative Leaders Support Immigration Reform:

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