Rep. Tom Malinowski (D., N.J.) said on Monday that the most painful concession for him would be to vote for border wall funding.
"The most painful concession for me to make as a Democrat who ran against this kind of stupidity and fear would be money for a border wall. If the you want me to consider something like that, I need to see comprehensive immigration reform," Malinowski said. "I need to see an end to the cruelties of the last two years."
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President Donald Trump and Congress remain at an impasse over funding for Trump's proposed wall along the southern border. The standoff has resulted in a partial government shutdown that is now in its 31st day. Over 800,000 furloughed federal government workers have gone without a paycheck, with some of them still having to work. Democratic leaders like Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) remain adamant no funding will go towards a border wall. Pelosi has gone as far as saying a border wall is "immoral."
"If President Trump wants border security on his terms, I've got to see America restored as a welcoming country of immigrants and refugees, not just protection for the ‘Dreamers,' who are but a small fraction of the victims of this president's immigration laws," Malinowski added.
Over the weekend, Trump proposed a new deal that would give him $5.7 billion for his wall while extending temporary protections for roughly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants, including "Dreamers," certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, and refugees under Temporary Protective Status. Pelosi immediately rejected the deal and called it a non-starter.
"But … permanent protections for a border wall is something you would at least talk about?" CNN host John Berman asked the congressman.
"I would talk about it if we expanded it so that it's really a big deal," Malinowski said. "If we give President Trump everything that he wants, everything that he wants as a border wall, I want to see immigration reform on the table, I want to see raising the refugee cap."