Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Sen Tom Cotton (R-AR) said any deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy would have to include funding the border wall, ending chain migration, and ending the diversity lottery.
Partial transcript as follows:
STEPHANOPOULOS: You worked with the president this week on immigration. You heard Senator sanders talk about the Democrats’ demands on DACA and the border wall. They are not going along with the border wall. The president says that’s a bottom line demand of his. Is there a way to solve the problem?
COTTON: I hope so. the president has said all along that while President Obama acted unlawfully giving legal status without a ruling from Congress that he wants to solve this problem with a comprehensive piece of legislation. We have been working on this for four months. In addition to funding the border wall and border security, we have to take steps against unskilled and low skilled immigration coming into the country. Like ending chain migration, ending the diversity lottery. One of the unheralded accomplishments of the first year of the Trump administration that gets overlooked with the growing stock market, for instance, is that wages for people who work with their hands and their feet, the kind of jobs where you have to take a shower after you get off work not before you go to work have increased at the fastest pace yet. There’s a reason for that. It’s not just the growing economy. It’s that this administration is getting unskilled and low skilled immigration under control. We need to continue on those efforts while finding a compromise on those people brought here as young children and young adults through no fault of their own. I hope the Democrats will come off their unreasonable negotiating position and be willing to compromise.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you saw that response this week. it wasn’t just Senator Sanders on the program right now. Senator Dick Durbin, his reaction to the $18 billion for the border wall. he’s saying it’s a nonstarter, not close to a compromise at this point, are we?
COTTON: Well, as you rightly said, those are Democratic demands. Not as they’re often portrayed as Republicans only make demands, Democrats negotiate. And Senator Durbin’s DREAM Act would cost $26 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office. Senator Durbin should reconsider who is making unreasonable, costly demands. The southern border creates such a huge magnet for illegal immigration and crime and drugs.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are we going to have a government shutdown at the end of January?
COTTON: I don’t expect to have one. I don’t want to have one. But if the Democrats want to shut down the government because they can’t get amnesty for illegal immigrants, they’ll have to defend that to the American people. They didn’t do that last month. I suspect they didn’t do it because they know that amnesty for illegal immigrants without any real reform is unpopular.
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