Herschel Walker’s immigration stance put to the take a look at within the Senate race in Georgia

ATLANTA – US Senate candidate Herschel Walker has linked up with Donald Trump directly as often as possible, extolling the former president’s support and support for his policies in his campaign appearances.

The sharpest rift between the two political allies, however, could be their stance on immigration, an issue that has long polarized conservatives and is sure to gain momentum as the 2022 vote approaches.

Walker, a political newcomer who rose to fame with football, was one of Trump’s earliest supporters during the 2016 White House race. But even then, he was cautious about the presidential candidate’s tough stance on illegal immigrants.

He told USA Today in August 2015 that he supported Trump’s idea of ​​building a wall along the US border with Mexico, but contradicted his plan to deport millions of illegal immigrants living in the country. He also said at the time that he would support a proposal that would allow such immigrants to acquire citizenship.

In a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Walker’s campaign did not deny his previous comments on Trump’s deportation policies or support for an immigration overhaul that would open the path to citizenship for millions.

Instead, campaign spokeswoman Mallory Blount said Walker supports those following the legal process of entry and highlighted the “humanitarian and illegal immigration crisis on our southern border that professional politicians have created”.

“If you have a leak, fix it,” she said. “All discussions about immigration must begin with the final securing of our southern border, and Herschel will work for that.”

Walker is the most prominent Republican to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock in next year’s election that could determine control of the Senate.

Georgia Republicans have increasingly emphasized a tough immigration stance as President Joe Biden’s administration grapples with a spate of migrant converts. They hope the issue can unite a divided conservative base torn apart by Trump’s attacks on Republican leaders who refused to overthrow the 2020 presidential election.

Since October last year, US immigration officials have arrested more than 1.5 million unauthorized migrants along the southern border. That’s most of it for more than two decades.

Former President Donald Trump listens as Herschel Walker, the Georgia Senate candidate, speaks during his Save America rally in Perry, Georgia on Saturday, September 25, 2021. (AP Photo / Ben Gray)

Earlier this month, Governor Brian Kemp traveled to the US border with Mexico to attack Biden’s immigration policies and demand crackdown on illegal border crossings. And Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Walker’s best-known GOP rival, said he saw “total chaos” when he walked to the border a few days later.

“We are devastated, but we will solve this problem,” said Black. “Georgians, I will help solve this problem, but it will still need a conservative vote in the US Senate.”

Black’s campaign on Monday sharply criticized Walker’s immigration concept.

“Herschel Walker’s immigration policy is like an illegitimate love child of Mitt Romney and Nancy Pelosi,” said spokesman Dan McLagan, citing two politicians who are berated by many Republicans in Georgia. “Republicans will vomit a little when they hear about this.”

Walker has provided little detail on his stance on politics since participating in the August race, but told Fox News last week that securing the border is a top priority.

“I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, I’m here to represent you,” he said. “Because whatever the Democrats want, I guarantee it’s what I want. We want law and order. We want the border to be patrolled. We want prices to go down.”