Republican presidential nominee candidate Scott Walker has been following the lead of controversial front-runner Donald Trump in recent weeks when it comes to the issue of immigration and may have alienated one of Wisconsin’s biggest industries in the process. Wisconsin is Walker’s home state.
Walker has moved to the right since announcing his decision to run for president to try to appeal to the same Republican voters that have thrown their weight behind Donald Trump. As a result he may have caused difficulties for Wisconsin’s dairy industry, which generates more than $50bn per annum for the state’s economy and is heavily reliant on immigrant labor, many of whom have no legal status in the United States.
Back in 2013, prior to his declaration to run for president, Walker stated that he was in favor of immigration reform that would enable hardworking immigrants to remain in the United States. This approach contributed to his re-election last year in a state where 40% of the labor on dairy farms is performed by overseas workers. Now, however, Walker has changed his stance to respond to increasing pressure from Republicans who are against reform.
Walker has also signaled his support for the lawsuit to prevent the implementation of the deferred action announced by President Obama last year and for the construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico, as suggested by Trump, but his policy change has caused a backlash within the dairy industry.