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Reality Check: Walker's position shifts on birthright citizenship

Reality Check: Walker's position shifts on birthright citizenship

MADISON, Wis. - Gov. Scott Walker is defending claims that his positions have shifted in the last week on immigration.

He was asked once again Monday to clarify whether he thought people should have birthright citizenship or the citizenship granted to children of immigrants born in America under the 14th Amendment.

Walker told reporters his position hadn't changed.

"I've been pretty consistent all throughout this campaign, and that is I believe we need to secure the borders and enforce the laws," Walker said in South Carolina Monday.

News 3 finds the consistent statement misleading.

This issue started last week in Iowa, when Walker was asked to respond to Donald Trump's call to repeal the 14th Amendment.

"I think in terms of changing, even Harry Reid said it's not right for a country to recognize a birthright for people whose families have not come in legally," Walker said.

When asked whether children of illegal immigrants should be deported, he continued his explanation.

"I've talked about how going forward I believe we should change the rule of the law, but in terms of deporting, the best thing we can do is enforce the law," Walker said.

But over the coming days, the governor's position shifted to taking no position on the issue.

"Until we secure the border and enforce the laws any of these other things don't matter," Walker said in New Hampshire Friday. "Because people aren't willing to do that, all the rest of it becomes kind of the next step or next discussion out there."

But Sunday morning on ABC, Walker was more unequivocal.

"So you're not seeking to repeal or alter the 14th Amendment?" he was asked by ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

"No," Walker replied. "My point is that any discussion that goes beyond securing the border and enforcing the laws are things that should be a red flag to voters out there who for years have heard lip service from other politicians."

Marquette Law Professor Charles Franklin said the shifting of positions for some candidates come as Trump is raising issues and getting a reaction.

"A number of candidates are searching for how to position themselves in the light of the Trump surge," Franklin said. "I think especially to position themselves to pick up Trump's supporters should Trump fall down."

Walker told reporters Monday that the birthright issue was only being raised as a distraction.

"My point on any of the other issues related to immigration is they are a distraction from the need to once and for all truly secure the border and enforce the laws," Walker said.


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