HOUSTON — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Saturday emphatically denied he recently changed his position on illegal immigration, emphasizing that solving the problem does not involve a pathway to citizenship.
"They ultimately need to go to the country of origin and then get in line just like anybody else would," Walker, a likely presidential candidate, told reporters here during a news conference with Gov. Greg Abbott.
Walker said multiple reports indicating he had flip-flopped on the issue were not true. The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and CNN each reported late this week that he recently told a private audience in New Hampshire that he supported a pathway to citizenship. The remarks, which Walker's team disputed, seemed at odds with his previous public statements on what to do with the roughly 11 million people in the country unlawfully.
"The bottom line is what I’ve said just now is what I’ve said repeatedly, whether it’s in New Hampshire or anywhere else, and that is I don’t believe in amnesty in the sense of citizenship," Walker told reporters Saturday.
Walker denied he discussed any options for citizenship during the meeting in New Hampshire.
"I made it clear that for me, if somebody wants to be a citizen, they need to go back to their country of origin, get in line, no preferential treatment," Walker said. "In terms of what to do beyond that, again, that’s something we got to work with Congress on.”