Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois appeared on CNN today, where he expressed his reluctant willingness to fund a southern border wall in exchange for amnesty for 800,000-or-so “dreamers.” Dreamers are the illegal aliens brought into the country as children who currently receive government protection form deportation. This protection is in danger of being stripped away if Congress cannot craft an immigration reform bill by March, the deadline given by President Donald Trump after he rescinded former President Barack Obama's executive action which established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“Look, I think it would be a monumental waste taxpayers money, to build a monument to stupidity," Gutierrez told CNN. "But if that’s what it’s going to take, to take 800,000 young men and women and give them a chance to live freely and openly in America, then I’ll roll up my sleeves and I’ll go down there with brick and mortar and build the wall myself. Cause you know, a brick for lives? Okay. Let’s do it.”
Gutierrez, who has been a staunch opponent of Donald Trump since the 2016 GOP presidential primaries, went to lament his disgust for the wall. He also claimed that even if the GOP agreed to the Democrats' compromise, that the government still would not be funded.
"And let me just say. That wall is offensive to me. It’s insulting to me and people like me who have come to this country. But people of my generation will do what we have to do, cause that’s what we do for younger people. That's what we do."
"I want to make it clear. Here's the thing. Do you think it will open the government. It will not open the government. Even though we will fund the wall, it will not. That's what Chuck Schumer told the President...that's what we told Republicans. They know, this is no longer an issue about the wall. As repugnant as it is to us, we will finance it,” the Illinois representative said.
Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez says he would be willing to build a wall to get a DACA deal: "A brick for lives? Okay. Let's do it." https://t.co/I2ap1qhELw— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 20, 2018
The "wall" along the southern border is projected to cost $18 billion. As Matt noted earlier, the wall in exchange for permanent DACA protections has been lofted by several pundits, including The Washington Post editorial board. The federal government is currently shut down because Democrats attempted to force DACA demands into a recent funding bill and refused to vote for a GOP plan that did not address immigration reform.