With Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker set to speak at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in San Diego, a progressive organization and a civil rights icon have voiced the Republican presidential candidate's stance on immigration and the Latino community.

ALEC, which regards itself as the "largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators" in the U.S., will host Walker on Thursday as part of its annual meeting with business leaders, policy experts and citizen organizations. Walker's connection with ALEC dates back to his time as a Wisconsin state legislator between 1993 and 2002.

According to The Guardian, Walker has had a positive relationship with ALEC, as his press secretary Ashlee Strong said, it is "an organization that helps bring to life one of his most strongly held principles: that power belongs in the hands of state and local governments, not in Washington, D.C."

Strong added that Walker "looks forward to any opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss solutions with elected leaders who work closest to the taxpayers."

Latin Post reached out to Walker's campaign for a statement but a response was not returned.

Coinciding with Walker's speech, People for the American Way (PFAW), a progressive organization, and civil and labor rights advocate Dolores Huerta have been voicing Walker's stance on certain issues.

"Scott Walker has proven himself to be a terrible governor of Wisconsin, and a Walker presidency would be even worse for Latinos and for our nation as a whole," said Huerta in a statement. "As governor, he gutted education funding, lied to voters about his anti-choice stances, and attacked workers' rights."

"Now he's staked out a far-right position on immigration," added Huerta. "He wants to restrict even legal immigration and opposes any path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, much less citizenship. Allowing him to bring his extreme agenda to the Oval Office would be devastating."

According to Huerta, voters have the right to know that Walker chose to be involved in ALEC's annual conference, which she noted was the organization that brought Arizona's anti-immigrant law SB 1070.

"Given Walker's decades-long alliance with ALEC, it's no surprise that he's standing with them now as he begins his presidential campaign," said Huerta. "While Walker has turned his back on working families, he gladly stands up for corporate interests that hurt our community through his work with ALEC."

PFAW, which Huerta serves as a board member, also released a 30-second advertisement highlighting the Wisconsin governor's stance on Latino-related issues. The ad, released in English and Spanish, reiterated his opposition to President Barack Obama's November 2014 executive actions and comprehensive immigration reform.

The ads will air in California, Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.

"As governor, Walker has shown time and time again that he'll go after immigrant students and families to appeal to the anti-immigrant base of the Republican Party," said Carlos Sanchez, coordinator of political campaigns for PFAW. "Walker's extreme record as governor and support for mass deportation policies make clear how dangerous a president he would be."

In collaboration with the Voces de la Frontera Action, PFAW launched a Spanish-language radio ad.

Walker is not the only Republican presidential candidate on ALEC's agenda as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas are also booked for the week.


For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: m.oleaga@latinpost.com.