Rep. Jackie Speier: Democrats Still Willing To Trade DACA For Trump's Wall, We Can Tear It Down In A Couple Years

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In an interview Thursday afternoon with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Democratic California Rep. Jackie Speier explained the thinking behind an effort from Democrats and a few Republicans in the House to force floor votes on several immigration-related issues, including both DACA and the border wall.

"Will you get those five more Republicans and force a vote on this sensitive issue?" CNN's Blitzer asked.

"I think it really depends on the polling that they're seeing in their districts," Speier said about her Republican colleagues. "I really do think it's self-preservation at this point from any of the Republicans, and that's why you see them willing to join on... So it's time for us to act. That's the biggest problem in Congress right now, is the inability to act on very important issues."





Asked about where she stands on the president's Wall-for-DACA offer, Speier said: "I have said publically before that if what we're doing is build a useless wall for a couple of years that we can then tear down, I'm willing to pay that price to make sure these DACA kids can stay in the country, [but] I'm not willing to put new immigration restrictions that will split up families and the like."

"But if it's just the wall, I would certainly entertain that," Speier added.

"Yes, I've heard that from several of your other Democratic colleagues as well," CNN's Wolf Blitzer agreed.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN: Let me get to another issue, a sensitive issue, that you guys in the House of Representatives are dealing with right now involving the dreamers, the young people brought here to the United States by their parents, undocumented immigrant. Two more Republican members of the House, they've now signed on to a petition to try to bring several of these so-called DACA bills to the House floor for formal votes against the express wishes of the House Speaker Paul Ryan. That would make about 20 Republicans right now total. If five more sign on, along with all of the Democrats in the House, it will actually force the speaker's hand.

Will you get those five more Republicans and force a vote on this sensitive issue?

REP. JACKIE SPEIER, D-CA: I think it really depends on the polling that they're seeing in their districts. I really do think it's self-preservation at this point from any of the Republicans, and that's why you see them willing to join on.

It's a fairness issue as well. These DACA kids, everyone agrees, a vast majority of Americans agrees that they have a right to stay in this country and enjoy a pathway to citizenship as long as they haven't committed any crimes and were brought here before the age of 16. So it's something the president himself has said he was supportive of.

So it's time for us to act. That's the biggest problem in Congress right now, is the inability to act on very important issues.

BLITZER: The president said he would support allowing those dreamers to stay in the United States and eventually even have a pathway to citizenship, but only if you and the House and the Senate approve billions of dollars to build a new wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and took other steps curtailing immigration into the United States. You're not ready to do that, right?

SPEIER: No. But I have said publically before that if what we're doing is build a useless wall for a couple of years that we can then tear down, I'm willing to pay that price to make sure these DACA kids can stay in the country. I'm not willing to put new immigration restrictions that will split up families and the like. But if it's just the wall, I would certainly entertain that.

BLITZER: Yes, I've heard that from several of your other Democratic colleagues as well.

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