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Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker reversed his stance on a previously held immigration position yesterday, when he said that he would actively fight against the progress of an anti-immigrant, SB 1070-style bill in his state.
“I think that it would be a huge distraction for us in this state,” Governor Walker said according to Politico. “I don’t think that falls into one of our priorities, so I would hope the Legislature doesn’t spend a lot of time focusing on that and instead focus on the areas I mentioned.”
The statement is a major change from 2010, when then-gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker said that he would sign an Arizona-style bill if it came to his desk once he was elected. This year, however, courts have struck down much of SB 1070 as well as a similar law, Alabama’s HB 56. And Republicans have spent the last several weeks publicly admitting that they need to do better on immigration, after last month’s election in which Mitt Romney lost the Latino vote by more than a 3-1 margin.
After those considerations, Walker now says he would “push to make sure [immigration legislation] doesn’t come up” in the next legislative term.
As he told WI magazine, he believed that more Latino voters would support the GOP if Republicans spent less time on polarizing issues—like immigration. “The vast majority of Latino voters I know in Milwaukee County and statewide are very much driven by the small-business, entrepreneurial, hard-work mindset, and they really don’t want government in their way,” he said.