Dem Rep. Pramila Jayapal: Trump's Goal Is "To Make America Pure;" No Immigrants, People Of Color

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Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said she hoped the shutdown backfires on President Trump because he's not interested in being president, he's only interested in throwing out red meat for his base.

"I hope that this can backfire on him, and I hope it continue to backfire on him, because he has never been interested in being a president for the whole country, he's only interested in throwing out red meat," Jayapal said.

The freshman Democrat said Trump's "ultimate goal" with the wall and focus on immigration is to "make America pure."





"This has never been about a wall," Jayapal said. "He actually could have gotten funding a couple of years ago, or a year ago, for a wall. It was part of a deal that was proposed. Not all of us agreed with that deal, but it was proposed to him and he turned it down because his ultimate goal is, as you said, to make America pure in the sense of not having immigrants, not having folks of color here and shutting down every form of legal immigration, all to throw a bone to those people."

"That's been the agenda of Steve Miller. It is a long-time agenda of these white supremacists who are fueling him at the base. And that is what is so disturbing," Jayapal also said.

CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Joining me now, Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington who was at the southern border last month helping migrants seek asylum and who worked in -- with immigrants and immigrant rights before she came to congress.

Do you think a deal can be made, or do you think this is fundamentally existential and cannot be made?

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): It is fundamentally existential if he continues to insist on a wall. And, you know, you just said it so beautifully, Chris, this has never been about a wall. He actually could have gotten funding a couple of years ago, or a year ago, for a wall. It was part of a deal that was proposed. Not all of us agreed with that deal, but it was proposed to him and he turned it down because his ultimate goal is, as you said, to make America pure in the sense of not having immigrants, not having folks of color here and shutting down every form of legal immigration, all to throw a bone to those people.

And the only thing I can hope is that the people that he's throwing the bone to are actually a minority of people. What's interesting, Chris, is if you look at where immigration fared in the 2018 elections, we actually found people turning away from this view that it was too racist, too bigoted, too
xenophobic.

And, you know, people coming over because, you know, most people in America, I think, do remember that they are one generation, two generations, just a little bit removed. And they
were uncomfortable to the level with which this has gone. And so I hope that this can backfire on him, and I hope it continue to backfire on him, because he has never been interested in being a president for the whole country, he's only interested in throwing out red meat.

And I just have to say as an immigrant myself, it is so deeply offensive to see the harm that he's causing to people across the country, people who are terrified, who don't feel that they belong, the people who are seeking asylum who no longer can get in, even though it's legal to seek asylum, and not just at a legal port of entry.

You know, all the people who have come to this country because of what we represent, the deep harm that is being done, and the violence that's being committed against Muslims through hate crimes, against Latinos, against folks of color, there is real damage, not only to real people but also to our
soul and our psyche.

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