'This Week' Transcript: Axelrod

BILBRAY: No, no, no. You had to say back of the line. The fact is, you've got to clarify. As long as we offer the same proposal to those who are waiting patiently to immigrate legally, as we're going to offer those who are illegally here -- because once you send the message that we're going to reward and create a special status for those who are illegally here, you will not be able to build a fence tall enough.

TAPPER: Congressman Gutierrez, let -- let me ask you a question. Isn't Arizona's inclination to take matters into its own hands understandable, given the failure of the federal government to deal with this?

GUTIERREZ: Yes. It is understandable. The federal government has not exercised its preeminent role, its constitutional role in enforcing our immigration policy. And I think what President Obama has done is, first, he laid out a speech before the American people in which he says, here's our immigration problem as I see it, and here's my solution as I see it.

And the following week, the Justice Department basically didn't go down to Arizona -- although I can argue with racial profiling and civil rights violations, and I think I can argue them well -- they didn't go down there and make that argument. They just said the federal government is the preeminent authority on immigration policy, and we're taking control.

But now we have to take control. So what Mr. -- Mr. Bilbray basically answered to you is that he thinks this is kind of like Fantasy Island, right, where 12 million people are just going to disappear like a mirage. They're not going to -- they're not going to...

(CROSSTALK)

GUTIERREZ: If I could just finish -- they're not going to disappear. Let me just describe who these 12 million people are. Half of them have children. There are 4 million American citizen children attached to them. Do you know that two-thirds of them have been 10 years or longer, millions of them have been here 20 years?

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: We only have a minute left, so I just want to have -- let Congressman Bilbray...

(CROSSTALK)

BILBRAY: ... what they are. The fact is, is you've got 15 percent work in the construction trades. You've got 14 million unemployed Americans and legal residents. The fact is, what are you going to do with the next 20 million illegal? Because you've announced a policy -- is it going to be a policy that we're going to give amnesty every year?

And my question is this, is like you said. We would support if they were at the back of the line, but why can't we do the enforcement? Why can't we give enforcement a chance?

The Obama administration is saying now -- they're doing now that when they bust an employer, they just -- they just let loose the illegals on the assumption that the illegals will deport themselves. Even the Obama administration is recognizing, once employment is...

GUTIERREZ: They will not leave. There are 12 million. Listen to that 7-year-old girl who asked the first lady.

BILBRAY: Ask...

GUTIERREZ: Can I just finish? Listen to that 7-year-old...

(CROSSTALK)

BILBRAY: ... how do you know they won't leave?

GUTIERREZ: Answer the question of that American citizen innocent child. There are 4 million like her. There are 12 million other. There are families. They have deep roots in our country. And we should find a way -- here's what I want to do with them.

TAPPER: You know what?

(CROSSTALK)

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