In recent days both Presidential candidates appealing to Tea Party voters used strong language to say they would, if elected, close the borders. I’m sure both fully understood that when Gov. Rick Perry said it was just fine for taxpayers to support illegal aliens’ college educations his popularity with primary voters plummeted almost overnight. Understanding the mood of voters, both candidates have taken their ‘close the borders’ message on the road.
PERRY, Iowa — Two Republican candidates vying for of the party’s conservative base issued full-throated attacks Saturday on illegal immigration
Herman Cain, the former business executive who has emerged as a front-runner in some polls, said he would build an electrified fence on the border with Mexico that could kill people who try to cross illegally. Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota vowed to make English the government’s official language, to build a “secure double fence” and to eliminate “taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal aliens.”
Mr. Cain, speaking at a Tea Party-sponsored rally in Tennessee, made some of his most pointed remarks yet on the issue. He said he might use military troops “with real guns and real bullets” to stop intruders.
Responding to anyone who might consider his remarks “insensitive,” Mr. Cain said the real fault lies with some illegal immigrants. “It’s insensitive for them to be killing our citizens, killing our border agents,” he said. “That’s what’s insensitive. And that mess has to stop.”
Deploying equally strong language, Mrs. Bachmann gave one of the great stem-winding speeches of her campaign. She described illegal immigration as an economic as well as a security threat. “This issue cannot be allowed to stand without fighting back,” she said, drawing applause from a crowd of about 60.
In the speech, she attacked the law Mr. Perry signed in 2001 allowing undocumented students who graduate from a Texas high school to attend a state college on in-state tuition. She said it violates a 1996 federal law.
She also cited figures from a conservative group,* the Federation for American Immigration Reform, maintaining that illegal immigration costs taxpayers $133 billion a year, most of it spent on education.
Doug Powers, writing at Michelle Malkin, joked that Cain’s plan is really a 9-9-9-9 plan, with that last 9 standing for a 9 amp jolt.
* Some of those at FAIR would take exception to the characterization of FAIR as “conservative.” Yes, there are many fine conservatives connected with FAIR, but there are also many on the political Left and especially from the earlier environmental movement involved who fully comprehend that one of the greatest threats stemming from large numbers of people entering the US is the threat to the environment—-people need cars, houses, roads, water, schools etc. etc. all of which put pressure on the natural environment. As a matter of fact, here in FAIR’s wikipedia description, we learn that the NYT has said previously that FAIR originated from a Liberal-centrist base of support. This helps explain why the issue of illegal immigration is not confined to the conservative end of the political spectrum only.