Martha Raddatz travels to the U.S.-Mexico border to gauge the impact of the immigration debate in Congress

Martha Raddatz tours our southern border for a first-hand look at the debate over the border wall and the fate of the 'Dreamers.'
11:17 | 01/28/18

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Martha Raddatz travels to the U.S.-Mexico border to gauge the impact of the immigration debate in Congress
d.r.e.a.m.ers? We'reoing morph into it. It will happen at some point in the future. What does that mean? Over a period of 10 to 12 years. If they do great job. It's a nice thing to have the incentive of after a period of year being able to become a citizen. How much do Yu need for your wall, Mr. President? $20 billion? I'm going to build it way underbudget. We're putting down $25 billion for the wall. If you don't have a wall, you don't have DACA. That was president trump with reporters on Wednesday. There with ar estimate are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. Their future, along with others 40e7ing to come to the U.S., again caught up in the battle over immigration. Most pressing, the fate of the d.r.e.a.m.ers. Those brought here illegally as children. In 2012, president Obama gave them legal status under DACA. President trump undid that last fall. Putting the fate of 690,000 active recipients in the hands of congress. It's the issue that shut down the government last week. Congress giving themselves until February 8th 0 negotiate a new deal. Or face another shutdown. We took off this week on a journey that took us to all four states that line the southern border. For a closer look at the view from the ground. Sunrise over the pacific. San Diego. It's where the 1900-mile-long u.s./mexico border begins. It's where we begin. A journey to see just what this immigration debate looks like. For those who see it up close. Who live it every day. Starting right here on the pacific ocean. This is not only where the border with Mexico begins, California is also the place where there are more dreamers than any place in the country. More than a quarter of all DACA recipients live here. Including this woman. She's called San Diego home since she arrived here 30 years ago at the age of 4. My mom had heard of the American dream. And she wanted us to experience that. She knew my dreams would bpt fulfilled in the -- the place where we were. Because her dreams aren't weren't fulfilled. Reporter: But Dulce's dreams have come true. After applying to DACA, she went to college and then on the law school. My family has been here 30 years. Paying taxes. Contributing with our labor. We have created businesses. We're job creators. Reporter: As long as you have lived here, there are people who would saying look, others came here legally. I understand that we -- we broke the law. By being here. And I feel there should be a way for us to become lawful immigrants. To become citizens some day. Reporter: Polls show that the vast majority of Americans support DACA recipients remaining in the country. Including trump supporter Debbie gold Hagen. You live ten miles from the border, probably. Do you think d.r.e.a.m.ers should be able to stay? Well, as far as I'm concerned, let 'em stay. Reporter: A third of the country supports building the wall between the U.S. And Mexico. I think it would stop a lot of them there coming over. I mean, I'm sorry, they need to come over here to take care of their families. I understand that. Some come over, they earn mare money, they're sending it there. They're not spending it here. Aren't we supposed to be taking care of us first? Reporter: Just outside San Diego, prototypes for the wall were constructed last fall. Some solid. Some see-three. As we head east through the vast desert, the enormity of the task to build a wall is stunningly obvious. We're just across the border now from Mexico. Still in California. Just passed miles and miles and miles of these very rocky hillsides. And the desert scrub you see over there. It's no wonder that building a wall would cost billions and billions of dollars. Barriers already stretch for nearly 700 miles along the border. Like this fencing in el centro, California. Even though the number of border's rehengss has fallen under president trump, the wall, even mobile observation towers, still offer little discouragement in the face of desperation for some. Mexico is just to my left. The border patrol is up and down these roads every day. They say they find people crossing over every day. Down the road in calexico, a town of 40,000. The border fence runs just steps from a main drag. Luis came here when he was about 10. Illegally overstaying his Visa. His wife is American. So he now has a green card. Do you think we should let others in? Um, I think there should be more control of who fetes into the country. And how they get into the country. Because -- we do need low-skill workers to do the jobs that most Americans don't want to do. Reporter: As dusk begins to fall, we watch a train wind its way near the board as we make our way to Tucson, Arizona, to meet up with more d.r.e.a.m.ers. A blazing flash of color signals the end of the day. And with it, word of the white house announcement of a framework on immigration. President trump proposing a $25 billion trust for the wall. And additional security. For the d.r.e.a.m.ers, a 10 to 12-year path to citizenship that would include some 1.8 million people who arrived here illegally as children. It would end so-called "Family migration." Only spouses or minor children would be included. Not parents. I'm trying to get my masters afterwards. Reporter: Both of these people heard the news as well. They were both brought to the U.S. Illegally as children. What is your reaction to what we heard from the white house? I would love to be able to be a citizen. But, I think for me, and for what we see in our own community is that it would be a lot more important to be able to keep our families together. Reporter: And this would not. Your parents would remain illegal. The possibility that they could be sent back? Children grow up not knowing if they're parents will make it home ro frork. We have members of our community being detained every day. Reporter: As for the wall, she thinks it will go the way of the the Berlin wall. We can build a wall. It won't stop people from coming. The majority of people coming to U.S. Is to get a better life. Reporter: But that wall is the number one priority for Dr. Kelly ward. Who wants to build the wall? Reporter: She's running for the Republican senate nomination in Arizona this year. And while she's a big booster of the president, she breaks with him on legalizing the d.r.e.a.m.ers before the wall is complete. The white house is proposing at the they expand the population eligible for citizenship. Not just those d.r.e.a.m.ers who are registered. But moving to 1.8. Those who are eligible. Do you agree with that? Is that fair? Well, I think we shouldn't be having those discussions until we fund and build the wall we get rid of the chip migration. We end the diversity lottery. We defund the sanctuary cities. And we implement verify. Any of the debate just drives more illegal immigration to occur while everything is in limbo. That's not what we want. Reporter: So you are deeply disappointed in what president trump did? I'm disappointed in the white house's proposal. Because I want -- I want to stand firm on what the American citizens were sold on the campaign trail. Reporter: The next morning, my team and I were back on the road. Traving next door to new Mexico. Making our way down to the Santa Teresa border patrol station. Here in New Mexico, where there are already miles and miles of barriers and fences, there are still more than 75,000 undocumented immigrants. We met up with Republican congressman Steve Pearce. He's running for governor this year. And stumped for trump in 2016. But thinks building a wall is a waste of money. You do not believe in a big $25 billion, $35 billion wall. No, no. Money could be spent for so many things. Our agents out here are completely unprotected. They're doing a very dangerous job. Everyone wants to secure the border. But let's be thoughtful about it. Let's don't just throw money at it. Reporter: Congressman Pearce would prefer more resources dwekted towards staffing and technology to secure the board border the. It's not just people crossing. It's drug activity that a wall can't prevent. Even with a structure, they're coming over with ultra lights. They're not manned. They row mote a drug package. 300 pounds, drops here with a gps locater. Someone comes and picks it up. You get a $35 billion wall and you defeat it with an ultralight. People looking for a better life coming here, I'm very sympathetic for that. I know what it's like looking for hope and opportunity. I grew up dirt poor. But let's do it the right way. Reporter: 1500 miles from where our journey started in dag, d.r.e.a.m.ers were out in weekend alongside environmental groups, protesting the proposed wall. They are holding us hostage by a border wall, preventing us from being and living with our families and members of our dmupts. Reporter: Texas democratic congressman Gonzalez voted to end the shutdown this past week. Well, it's pretty shameful that we're playing pawns with young children's lives. Reporter: But he remains hopeful that a solution for the d.r.e.a.m.ers will be found. I'm optimistic we'll find a resolution and that we get to a finality on the issue. And get it done and put it to rest and move on with the people's business. Reporter: All along the border, we traveled, the desire to get something done is clear on all sides. But whether Washington can get beyond the political divide to reach a final deal may be the biggest barrier of all.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"11:17","description":"Martha Raddatz tours our southern border for a first-hand look at the debate over the border wall and the fate of the 'Dreamers.'","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/ThisWeek","id":"52664967","title":"Martha Raddatz travels to the U.S.-Mexico border to gauge the impact of the immigration debate in Congress ","url":"/ThisWeek/video/martha-raddatz-travels-us-mexico-border-gauge-impact-52664967"}