Scott Walker: building a wall on Canadian border is a “legitimate issue.”

Scott Walker: Building a Wall Along Canadian Border is a “Legitimate Issue”

Scott Walker: Building a Wall Along Canadian Border is a “Legitimate Issue”

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Aug. 30 2015 1:06 PM

Scott Walker: Building a Wall Along Canadian Border is a “Legitimate Issue”

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Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (L) listens as Donald Trump fields a question during the first Republican presidential debate on August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

A nation surrounded by walls. That seems to be what some Republican presidential hopefuls think might help the United States become safer. On Sunday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said that building a wall along the U.S. border with Canada is a “legitimate issue for us to look at” and needs to be examined further.

To be fair, Walker only brought up the issue because NBC’s Chuck Todd asked him “why are we always talking about the southern border?” But the governor said it was not the first time he had heard about the issue. Law enforcement officials in New Hampshire brought it up as a concern during a recent town hall meeting, Walker said.

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A potential problem with this idea? The sheer massiveness of the northern border. While the U.S. has 1,989 miles of border with Mexico, the border with Canada is 5,525 miles long, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Walker also said it was a distraction to talk about birthright citizenship, or any other immigrant-related issue, “until we secure the border and enforce the laws.” The governor has given conflicting answers on the issue in the past. Earlier this month he said he would eliminate birthright citizenship only to backtrack and say he wouldn’t advocate changing the 14th Amendment that automatically grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States. He seemed to stick to that position on Sunday saying that he’s “not talking about changing the Constitution.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.