Top GOP senator weighs in on the immigration debate

Sen. Lindsey Graham goes one-on-one with Martha Raddatz, only on "This Week."
3:34 | 01/28/18

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Transcript for Top GOP senator weighs in on the immigration debate
I want to talk about that proposal a little bit. I was on the border this week. That wall that would run 1900 miles. That seems like a lot of money an Indiana credibly difficult project. @ Right. And about two-thirds of the country don't think it should happen. Well, I think what will happen is we spent $40 billion on the border security in the gang of eight bill. So $25 billion is not an outrageous number. We spent $42 billion, think it was. As to where the wall should go, should it be a fence, we'll have experts decide that. The president's proposal to allow 1.8 million d.r.e.a.m.ers a path to citizenship is a huge step in the right direction. He deserves to have an es Crowe account to secure the wall system, not just a wall. Chain migration and cutting you illegal immigration in half would be difficult areas. We're talking about $25 billion for a wall. Republican congressman of Texas will erd doesn't think it's a good idea. Steve Pearce in New Mexico said it's a waste of money. These are guys who live there on the border. They see people getting over. They see drugs getting in. Right. I dealt with the board security for a decade now. The gang of eight spent $42 billion on order security systems. You don't need $25 billion for a wall. You need wall systems. You need roads. You need -- redundancy. You need to fix old fencing. We're not going to build a 1900-mile wall. But $25 billion can be spent wisely. Because the gang of eight bill spent $42 billion to secure the border. We're not going to build a wall in places it shouldn't go. The bottom line is, this is a credible offer by the president. It's a break through. He's getting pushback from the hard right. And a lot of liberal advocacy groups. I think he's trying to thread a needle. We're not going the cut legal immigration in half. We're going to have green cards for the entire economy. We're going to have a diverse nation. We're not going to limit people coming in the kubt from Norway or Europe. They're going to come from all over the world, based on merit. We're going to have people who are diverse and skill sets that are diverse. It's a winning combination. I want to stop you. I listened to your carefully. Is this going to happen by February 8th? Or will we see another government shutdown? We're not going to see a government shutdown. Another thing that came from the mess last week is we're focused on immigration. Without the dustup, we wouldn't have a commitment to move toward on February 8th. We really have until March 95. There's so much interest to fix the problem, the president has made a credible proposal. We'll give a pathway to citizenship to 1.8 million d.r.e.a.m.ers who have been well vetted. We're not going to cut legal immigration in half. We'll deal with chain migration in two phases. Beginning in phase one. I'm optimistic that the president continues the attitude he's expressed in this proposal. If my democratic friends will calm down. I foe it's hard to deal with president trump. Take a deep breath. We can get there. America would be so well served to start fixing the broken immigration system. Owe what couldn't do it. Bush couldn't do it. Trump can do it. I hope we'll work with him to get it done. Well, we'll see how you do. We'll see. Thank you so much for joining us this morning. Thank you.

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

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