ThinkProgress filed this report from a campaign event in Harriman, Tennessee
Former pizza magnate Herman Cain has previously indicated that as president he would support the construction of a fence along the United States’ southern border with Mexico as a way to curb illegal immigration. Those plans, Cain joked, included plans for an alligator-filled moat.
But at a campaign stop Saturday, Cain laid out a plan more serious and even more troubling than those he has joked about in the past. As president, Cain said he would support building an electrified border fence, complete with barbed wire at the top and signs printed in English and Spanish warning those who approached the fence, “It will kill you.” If that didn’t work, Cain said he would send American troops with “real guns and real bullets” to guard the border:
CAIN: It’s going to be 20 feet high. It’s going to have barbed wire on the top. It’s going to be electrified. And there’s going to be a sign on the other side saying, ‘It will kill you — Warning.’
Sunday morning, Cain told Meet the Press host David Gregory that he was joking about this plan too, but if he was, the audience of a couple hundred couldn’t tell — the portion of Cain’s speech detailing the immigration plans drew some of his loudest cheers of the day.
Cain isn’t the only Republican presidential candidate to suggest building a border fence, a plan dismissed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as an impractical way of dealing with illegal immigration into the United States. The two Republican presidential candidates who have governed border states — Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson — also oppose a border fence.
Cain, however, continues to press the idea. And evidently, a 1,200-mile fence isn’t enough — Cain seems determined to make it as inhumane as possible.