Republican Maria Elvira Salazar wants to reform the nation's immigration system, but will vote to spend money on Donald Trump's border priorities if elected to Congress.
Salazar, running to replace retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in a Miami-based seat that Trump lost by more than 19 percentage points in 2016, did not directly endorse Trump's border wall in a Sunday night interview with MSNBC host Kasie Hunt, but she did endorse specific parts of a border security plan that most Democrats do not support.
"I would definitely vote in order to secure the border," Salazar said when asked about the wall.
"Does that mean the wall that the president wants, the big, beautiful wall?" Hunt responded.
"That means any type of tower, any type of technology, any type of guards for border security that will secure the border because we do not want (imprisoned Mexican drug lord) El Chapo or his friends smuggling drugs," Salazar said. "Listen, the undocumented people do not want to be undocumented. That's why we need to reform our immigration system and we need to give visas to those that are coming to pick up Jalapeno peppers in Southern California or to clean toilets in Orlando or in Manhattan. They need some type of legality so they can stay here, they can pay taxes, they can contribute to the economy and continue working as they are right now without a criminal record."
Salazar blamed Barack Obama for prioritizing Obamacare over an immigration overhaul while in office and Bill Clinton for passing immigration laws that laid the framework for Trump's family separation policy.
"This is not a matter of Democrats or Republicans, when it comes to immigration everybody's at fault," Salazar said.
Hunt also asked Salazar, a broadcast journalist for decades until January, about Trump's comments declaring the press as the enemy of the people. Salazar disagreed with his remarks.
"We have the best press in the world," Salazar said. "The press, the press we need always."
Salazar faces Democrat Donna Shalala and pro-Trump independent Mayra Joli in the general election.
Watch the interview here.