I should hope so. After signing a separate resolution calling for a path to citizenship in 2002, how could he turn down a sequel?
Are we sure Jeb Bush is the most pro-amnesty candidate in the field? Remember, unlike some people, Jeb (supposedly) opposes a path to citizenship for adult illegals.
But the likely presidential candidate apparently stood on another side of that debate as the Milwaukee County Executive in 2006. That year, he signed a resolution calling on Congress to pass the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, a bill authored by John McCain and Teddy Kennedy that was denounced at the time by conservatives as “amnesty” — and remains anathema to party activists…
The 2006 resolution embracing the McCain-Kennedy bill was sent to Walker by the Milwaukee Board of Supervisors. He signed it despite returning or vetoing numerous other matters that year. The final version of the resolution signaled support for criminalizing federal immigration law violations and increased border fencing. But it also referred to a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and “full labor rights.”
Good news for Walker: The guy who actually wrote that bill — with Ted Kennedy — ended up winning the GOP nomination in 2008, so it’s possible to be a much bigger amnesty shill and still end up as the “conservative” party’s choice for president. More good news: Although McCain faced a weaker field than Walker will, he also had to contend with people running to his right on this issue. Walker really doesn’t. Cruz will try, but when push comes to shove, he supports legalizing illegals. And still more good news: Judging from the reaction of some of our commenters in Headlines, plenty of grassroots righties are already greeting stories like this with “the media’s trying to take down our guy!” rather than “gee, the great conservative hope sure has a bad record on this issue.” That’s Walker’s strength in a nutshell. He’s impressed so many Republicans by winning his death match with labor in Wisconsin that his heresies on immigration are interpreted not so much as damaging liabilities as fodder for “they’ll tell you who they fear” hit pieces by a panicky drive-by media. He’s One of Us, so he’ll get a pass on offenses that constitute high crimes when committed by Jeb Bush or even Marco Rubio. (One commenter touted Walker’s immigration squishiness as a good thing insofar as it’ll help pull votes from the center of the party too. Walker/McCain 2016!) In that sense Walker really is Reaganesque. Sure, the Gipper may have signed off on a truly terrible amnesty bill, but if that’s all you see in his record, you’re missing the forest for the trees.
Even so, Team Walker’s taking no chances. Politico reports that they’re working on an immigration platform that’ll call for repealing Obama’s executive amnesty and demanding “absolute security” at the border before tackling legalization. You can imagine how that startling transformation from squish to border hawk will be packaged: “Yes, like everyone else running for president this year, Governor Walker has long supported bringing illegals ‘out of the shadows,’ but last year’s border crisis drove home to him just how weak our enforcement mechanisms are. He’s seen the light and now realizes that security must precede legalization to ensure that there are no further amnesties.” That’ll be plenty good enough for voters who like him and are looking for a reason to absolve him of his previous ideological sins.