A moment of disappointment: Has Walker read the bill? [Update]May 15, 2010
I’m a Scott Walker fan. He is the candidate I support, I’ve made that opinion known to friends and family.
But following a big endorsement (that found itself on the Drudge Report) from Jeb Bush, Walker seems to have shot himself in the foot, and has shaken my confidence in him.
Today, Walker commented on the Arizona immigration bill.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker said in a statement that he has serious concerns about the law empowering police to question and arrest anyone they suspect is in the U.S. illegally.
“In America we don’t want our citizens getting pulled over because of how they look,” Walker said.
His stance was the most definitive of any of the three major gubernatorial candidates, all of whom were asked by The Associated Press about the issue this week. All three candidates — Walker, Republican Mark Neumann and Democrat Tom Barrett — agreed that the answer to immigration reform lies with the federal government, not states.
Though, I’m certain I already know the answer, I feel obligated to ask “Has Walker read the bill?” It’s only 10 or so pages long. This isn’t like the healthcare bill. The Arizona bill is a quick read. If he had read the Arizona law, he would’t be paraphrasing Barack Obama’s ice cream comment. There are already laws in this country in place against racial profiling. Police officers can now check the residency status of people already in some form of custody for other issues when they have a reasonable suspicion that the detainee may be in the country illegally. Furthermore, immigrants in the United States already have to have some sort of documentation on them, that is a federal law. So all the Arizona law does is allow state and local law officers to enforce a federal law. This law is very similar to the ’80s drug enforcement laws and more recent anti-terrorism laws, the only difference being probable cause.
I’m not sure why Walker thinks its necessary to push himself towards the middle, as many people are going to quickly label him a RINO (check out the comments). I can only assume that these comments were made with out any consultation with his staff and he was just shooting from the hip. In a year like this Walker should be doing everything possible to empower conservative Republicans, opposing this bill, supported by 59% of Americans (a number that gets higher when specifics of the bill are mentioned, is now the way.
Can’t wait to hear Belling on Monday.
Walker reversed his position, rather quickly. Via Facebook:
“I sympathize with the people of Arizona who are victimized by violence, crime and property damage as a result of illegal immigration. After speaking this morning with the sponsor of the new law in Arizona, State Senator Russell Pearce, I’m satisfied that the amended bill provides adequate protections against racial profiling and discrimination. A police officer may only inquire about the immigration status of persons they have stopped, detained, or arrested for other reasons.
In addition, earlier decisions by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals satisfy my concern about any conflicts with the 10th Amendment. If I were Governor of Arizona, I too would sign the Arizona immigration bill.
As Governor of Wisconsin, I will sign legislation that strengthens our protection against illegal immigration and ensures that taxpayer funded benefits like Badger Care and drivers licenses are not available to those who are here illegally.”
-Statement by Scott Walker posted by Campaig