GOP pollster says side issues are distracting Americans from fixing the US immigration system

Republican pollster Ed Goeas said Wednesday that the debate over immigration issues such as asylum, border security and the border wall are distracting Americans from the issue of fixing the fundamental U.S. immigration system. 

"I hate when these issues come up, these side issues on immigration. We have to fix our immigration system. Our immigration system is broken," Goeas told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." 

"I know there's a debate going on now on a wall versus no wall, security and how to keep people from coming in, but the bottom line is that we're still glossing over the real problem, which is we have a broken immigration system, and we need to figure out how to fix it and get it right," he continued. 

Goeas comments come as Republicans and Democrats spar over the issue of border security in an effort to avoid a partial government shutdown. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCoast Guard chief: 'Unacceptable' that service members must rely on food pantries, donations amid shutdown Dem lawmaker apologizes after saying it's never been legal in US to force people to work for free Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing MORE continued his call for funding for a border wall on Tuesday, threatening a government shutdown if Congress does not include the funding for the wall in a government spending bill. 

In a highly contentious meeting with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Trump said he would be "proud to shut down the government" if he didn't get the funding.

— Julia Manchester