House Democrat: Pay the 'hostage takers' for the border wall to protect 'Dreamers'

Congressional Hispanic Caucus member Rep. Luis Gutierrez is interviewed on "This Week" about the shutdown and what Democrats can accept on an immigration deal.
6:03 | 01/21/18

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Transcript for House Democrat: Pay the 'hostage takers' for the border wall to protect 'Dreamers'
Back now with two key members of the house on opposite sides of the immigration debate. Gentlemen, welcome. Congressman Gutierrez, let me begin with you. CNN has a poll that Americans think it's more important to avoid a shut down than continuing DACA. Are you worried at all about Democrats over playing their hand? Let me start by saying this, look, I think the wall is a monumental waste of tax payer money. It's to build a monument to stupidity and it's just idiotic. Having said that, if that's what it's going to take in order to put 800,000 young men and women in this country, d.r.e.a.m.ers and put them in a safe place and put them on a course to full integration, if that's what the hostage takers of the d.r.e.a.m.ers, if that's their ransom call, pay it. I thought Mexico was supposed to pay for the wall. Next November we'll deal with the kidnappers at the election. That's what the president said. He said I want to wall. As despicable as it is, as hurtful as it is to people like pe a me and others in this country we're ready to sacrifice that for d.r.e.a.m.ers. $20 billion that Mexico was supposed to pay? That's exactly the point. $20 billion. A president of the United States that said Mexico is murders, drug dealers and we got to get rid of them. We got to build a wall. The conversation has always been the Democrats are not into border security. You've want to build this monument to stupidity. You insist upon wasting $20 billion. I say free the d.r.e.a.m.ers. They have taken them hostage, George. What am I supposed to do? I have asked them to sign up. I filled out forms by the thousand ws them. It's my responsibility to put them in a safe place. George, it's really not. You know what this demonstrates, it's really not about border security. The government should be open. People like I and others in the Democrat party -- dick Durbin offered them the money for the wall. Schumer offered the money for the wall. You heard Marc short -- I have been clear about it. You heard Marc short in the program that wasn't good enough. They have needed change in the chain immigration and lottery system. Are you willing to accept them in return for freeing the DACA hostages? Here's my point to you what it reveals to us the president of the United States has said -- he said this on numerous occasions. I want a wall. You've get the d.r.e.a.m.ers. Now they move the goals. Here's what they're saying to us, George, we have to be very clear. They want to end legal immigration to the united States. They say let's build a wall to keep us safe. They say let's build a wall so our workers don't have to compete with illegals. Then they end legal immigration. They say the lottery system, let's end it. That's legal immigration to the United States. George, what they want is the following -- listen very carefully to what they're saying. When they say chain immigration which is something offensive to me to use that word. It's about family reunification. It's about a mom bringing their children and children bringing their moms, husbands and wives. Those are the Visas they're going after. What does my ability to bring my brother to the United States, what does the ability that I have to bring my children to this country or my children to bring me have to do with border security, have to do with keeping this country safe? They want to end legal immigration. You know what, George, we have to fig to fight that. It's the essence of who we are as a nation. It's core to what it is to be American. We would not be a nation without immigrants and animation policy. Congressman, you were at the white house with general Kelly. Did he really say the president was uninformed on the wall? Yes. I had a meeting. I was sitting right next to him, next to Mr. Kelly. He said the president of the United States when he was campaigning made promises that were not fully informed. I wrote it down. I wrote I down. It was so astonishing to me. I have immediately wrote it down. Was not fully informed. Is that uninformed? He said I've educated president and the president has evolved on the issue. When I asked general Kelly what's a wall? He said it could be the in hospitable terrain. It could be border patrol agents. It could be drones. Let's take it off the table. The America public has heard this president say he wants a wall. Acid I don't tick as it is to me -- George, this debate has to be about men and women, 800,000 young people. I'm going to put them first. I got zblit if I have to muddy my hands to do it so they live a clean life let's do it. Congressman thingings. Let's bring that to mark meadows.

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

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