MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker asked President-elect Donald Trump in a letter delivered Tuesday to give his state more authority in the determination of how many refugees may come from countries with ties to terrorism.
Walker is also asking for help to the state to proceed with drug testing for some food stamp recipients and the legalization of the hunting of gray wolves.
The requests, some of which Walker, a Republican who challenged Trump card for the GOP presidential nomination, makes in the letter. It is unclear how quickly He could move to tackle Walker’s concerns, some of which is tied up in the courts and may require that the law changes.
The making of the request, it is now possible Walker to draw attention to the issues at play and with the conservatives and that he and President Barack Obama don’t agree. Walker told The Associated Press that he was “very optimistic” Trump would act quickly on his request, immediately after the appointment of the following month.
On the refugee issue, Walker governors of the states and not told enough about who and where they will be placed.
“As far as we can tell, they are just full-fledged integration of these people in the communities in which they are, that don’t really fit the definition of a refugee,” Walker says in the interview. “We have no idea how many people may have ties with the Islamic State or other radical Islamist terrorism or jihadist groups, and I think that it is a legitimate public safety concern.”
Walker wrote Asset that the state must “have a broader role in determining how many refugees from those countries” allowed “to we agree with the key process that is used to screen these persons.”
Walker is also in the hope of a Trump administration will be more open to drug testing for childless adults who receive food stamps.
Walker sued Obama to allow such drug testing after the Agriculture Department said that the federal law doesn’t allow such a screening. There is also a Republican push in Congress to allow for this testing.
The hunting of gray wolves in Wisconsin is a hot issue, especially in the more rural north of the state. Wolf hunting is not allowed in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota under the 2014 a federal court ruling that threw out an Obama administration decision to remove gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list.
Animal protection groups contend wolves should remain protected, but calls for the hunting, they say that they have increased in number, be more aggressive and move south. Walker states in the letter that Wisconsin, have managed the wolf population prior to the judgment of the district court and should be allowed to do so again.
Walker says in the letter that he is asking state officials “to thoroughly review all programs and the federal mandates that the cost to the taxpayer, limiting the flexibility of effective governance, or impede growth of the private sector.”
Walker said he saw these requests as those that can be acted on quickly, while other things, such as giving states more flexibility by providing money in block grants for programs such as Medicaid and transportation will take longer to achieve.
Walker said he has spoken several times with the Vice-President-elect Mike Pence about these requests. Walker has a close relationship with Pence, the governor of Indiana, and helped him to prepare for his vice-presidential debate earlier this year.
Pence was among the dozens of governors of GOP states that tried to block Syrian refugees after the January 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, saying there were questions about the federal government’s refugee screening. A federal appeals court blocked Pence’s attempt to prevent the social service agencies from helping more immigrants from certain countries and in Indiana. Three judges in October called it “a nightmare speculation” that the refugees would commit terror.
AP writer Rick Callahan in Indianapolis contributed to this story.
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