PERRY, Iowa (AP) — Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann on Saturday signed a pledge to push for construction of a fence along the entire length of the border with Mexico, raising the issue of illegal immigration in an Iowa town where about one third of the residents are Hispanic.

Bachmann also renewed her attacks on the immigration policies of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, one of the rivals for the Republican nomination, and she criticized President Barack Obama for what she called his failure to control the border.

“President Obama has failed the American people by failing to secure the southern border,” said Bachmann. “I will secure that border and that will be job one.”

Bachmann’s call for increased border security was made in a town where the meatpacking industry has drawn immigrant workers. Thirty-two percent of the town’s 9,800 residents are Hispanic.

Van Hipp Jr., head of Americans for Securing Our Border, said Bachmann was the first GOP presidential hopeful to sign the pledge, but he added the group plans to aggressively seek the support of others as well. The document binds Bachmann to support the construction of a double fence along the length of the U.S. border with Mexico by 2013.

“I have been saying this all through the campaign,’ Bachmann said. “Now you have my word in writing.”

She called control of the border a national security issue and said illegal immigration costs the U.S. more than $100 billion a year. At the same time she rejected suggestions that talking about cracking down on illegal immigrants is racist or anti-Hispanic.

“It’s OK to talk about this issue,” said Bachmann. “Some say it’s not OK to talk about this subject because that somehow means we are prejudiced or bigoted or biased against Hispanics. That’s not what I hear form the people of Iowa. They are tired of paying for other people.”

Hipp said the pledge was intended to insure that action is taken on the issue. “For too long, too many politicians have given only lip service to the war on our border,” he said. “The rule of law has been ignored and the federal government has been derelict in its duty in defending our borders.”

Cracking down on illegal immigration has become a major theme in the GOP race, with most of the candidates charging that Perry isn’t tough enough on the issue.

Perry has taken a lot of heat for Texas’ policy of allowing the children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition to attend public colleges. Bachmann raised the issue again Saturday. “In 2009 in Texas there were 12,138 students that benefited from that,” she said. “That cost the taxpayers of Texas $25.9 million.”

Bachmann congratulated Hipp’s group for injecting the immigration issue into the campaign, calling it a “wonderful gift.”

She said that an alleged Iranian plot to launch a campaign of bombing and assassination in the U.S. would have involved people slipping across the border illegally. “This is not just an economic issue, this is also a national security issue. It’s an issue dealing with terrorism.”

Bachmann noted that 59,000 of those who cross the border illegally each year come from countries other than Mexico. She also argued that it will be virtually impossible to cut into the nation’s jobless rate until illegal immigration is reduced.

Bachmann told reporters she chose the town of Perry for signing the pledge because of its demographics. Asked if she chose Perry because it is the namesake of a leading opponent in the race, she said: “I thought about that too.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (53)
  1. Not the solution says:

    Fences do not work. Unless there electric.

    1. dumb says:

      If you would like to throw in your 2 cents then please spell it correctly. The word you were looking for is they’re, not there.

  2. Joe from Mn says:

    A single wire fence backed up with sharp shooters.

    1. me says:

      MULTIPLE wire fence with LANDMINES between. Embeded thermal and sismic sensors (to detect tunnels). Automated machine gun emplacements and THEN backed up by both sharpshooters and roving patrols at RANDOM intervals.

      Lock it down GOOD.

      1. Jake says:

        Absolutely. Build the ENTIRE fence, patrol it with dogs, troops, crocodiles in the Rio Grande, Use the military if you have to, Get the boxcars ready for deportations.

      2. Paul Solinger says:

        Good ideas, me, but I have a feeling that Republicans will still find a way into Minnesota. They’re pretty resilient.

  3. Citizen says:

    Build a 10-foot fence and the illegal immigrants will get a 12-foot ladder, or build a tunnel underneath. There already are fences on the border, and at 11-plus-million illegal immigrants in this country, we already know how well they work. Good old MIchelle has never let reality get in the way of a useless pledge and her warped ideology.

  4. Murph says:

    At the Bachmann estate it’s Halloween every day! Michele should just hold her broom with both hands and sweep all the illegals back across the border! Why build another useless fence?

    1. Big Bill says:

      Someone should build a fence around Bachmann!

  5. A Voter says:

    She pledges to push for a fence, that’s no guarantee that one will ever get built.
    More worthless promises.

  6. Ya betcha says:

    Michelle – the USA’s #1 Bimbo
    Now that she’s sunken to the bottom of the polls, …. maybe below a T-Paw if he …. naaaa …….what wabbit will the beetch try to pull out of her arse? Oh – a fence. Brilliant. Never work, impossible to secure and no $$$ to fund…..hey Michelle – what about the north up here in Minnesota ? You know beetch, the place that you got your start at and supposedly represent. Yeah, that place where Marcus sucks the Fed money for his clinic at, the place that paid you the foster kid $$$, the place that you (lol) were the IRS attorney at….yeah wench. That place. Please go eat some D-Con and let us know what it tastes like plzz

  7. tan pup says:

    32% hispanic – in a boarder town in Texas!!! Oh, My GOD! What’s next Canadians in Northern MN, ND, Wy, MI, NY, OH, ID, OR? God, knows, there are no boats, planes, CARS that could possibly cross. E-gads MB here’s a quarter, get a friggen clue! What an idiot! Here’s a thought for all you MB supporters – you can bet the factories who employ these brazen boarder crossers (or actual natural born citizen of TX who happen to be of hispanic discent) won’t want to support a fence. You know how much money they are saving not paying unemployment, disability, health and workmen’s comp? Not to mentionthe low wages pay those people. A fence, oh yeah then all those great meat processing jobs can be done by the white people who live there – Oh, SURE – right. Thanks MB I needed a good hearty laugh today! I sure hope she keeps running, the entertainment factor is just so great.. .

    1. Jake says:

      I sure hope that you are NOT an elected official, sworn to represent and protect AMERICANS.

  8. BMW says:

    You would think the military has enough troops and technology to get a handle on illegals crossing without having to waste money on a fence. The illegals will just find another way to get in if they really want to. And what about the porous Canadian border? Nuff said… Bachmann, you’re an airhead.

  9. kman says:

    Thats it Bachmann we have no money and you are willing to spend on a Fence that you cant Patrol you do know that is more than 300 feet that Bush put up

  10. kman says:

    Wait Mrs Bachmann you know your in congress can’t you sponser a bill that will do that oh thats Right your a Republican and if you did that now you would break the Pleage you and the Rest of the Republicans vowed not to do anything this Term

  11. JOhn Reichensperger says:

    shes a disqrace to minn.
    who will woki for peanuts her cleaning hogs etc????

    remember the berlin wall??? i do…
    lets put one around her home…

    1. Jake says:

      I’ve actually seen the Berlin Wall, and have photos to prove it. It actually was quite a deterent. Not saying that I agree with having such a wall THERE, but it did actually work quite well. Maybe we should import a lot of illegal Germans here, so they can tell us how to build such a wall.

  12. Richard in Minneapolis says:

    It is a simple fact of life that as long as there is demand, supply will eventually find a way to fill that demand. Illegal immigration is not going to go away as long as there is employment waiting here for those willing to take the risk. Remove the employment incentive (punish people who hire illegal immigrants) and the problem of people coming over the border to look for those jobs will take care of itself.

    1. Max says:

      Absolutely spot on!

  13. Bridges Burnmore says:

    The border fence idea is an old one that we have been working on. If we need a new fence, it should be to block the saucer eyed looney from the oval office.

  14. Ned says:

    Is she going to do this before or after she gets gas to two bucks a gallon? This woman is a nut job. The house and senate will NEVER let a fence be built. Neither party wants it. If you believe either party wants one you are a moron. The seats your elected officials hold are paid for by the people that hire illegal immigrants. Get a clue morons.

  15. songsinger says:

    there aint no fence high enough there aint no river wide enough… there is no amercan waking up in the morning thinking we need a fence around or country next week it will be a force feild around the planet lol i can not wait untill she is run out of town if it was the 1500 or 1600 people would think she is a witch for talking so crazy but in todays world we call them wack jobs or crazy person or even insane shes not a leader in any way shape or form she never did anything for mn what makes you think she can do anything for the country

  16. dreamer says:

    ok lets build a fence and hire the mexies to build it lol

  17. iamuleader says:

    when will the mother ship come to take this nut out of here, make the fence out of weed so we can go there and pick our own hahaha

  18. Darell Lange says:

    a fence and more border security is a good start
    but they will just start digging more tunnels to
    bring in more drugs and illegals
    If it were up to me I would dig a 30ft trench also

  19. c from minnesota says:

    the woman is a loon and an embarrassment to minnesota and the entire country. Ignorant and dangerous.

  20. usuck says:

    lets start by giving every american that can work a job its so plain and simple but no man can complete the task at hand we wont jobs dont you get it goverment dont you understand we live to die and we should all live a life worth something and you have given us nothing to die for im 50 and i have nothing because you take take take your not a giving goverment you only think of your selfs i cant even pay for my own funeral you have f#cked me so bad im not proud to be a american i am discraced i am not honored im disipointed and i am not free i am a pawn

  21. thinkaboutit says:

    immigrant workers and illegal immigrants are not at the border they are in the center of america in every crop feild and farm from apples to corn on every roof roofing in every new home and building built doing drywall and painting and even tending the rich accross the country from small towns to the big city… so give us our crops and our feilds and new constuction back and we will have our jobs back and fine the people that hire illegal immigrants and we will finally have our county back amen so start in the middle of america and push to the border then make the fence i never seen a man yet cross a high voltage fence and make it to the other side

    1. sssssh says:

      ssssssh – the bimbo doesn’t want to hear the truth

    2. It's now or never says:

      AND they are in Chipotle, cleaning at the Malls, and all the rest of the jobs that should be employing Americans not Illegals. AND they are not embarrassed to be speaking Spanish or any other home language in America. They don’t have to learn English because we are so accomodating. How many languages can someone take our drivers license in??? It has to change or we will be in deep &^$#@*! Think about it, its now or never.

  22. Max says:

    A fence will be her #1 priority??

    This woman has signed so many right-wing pledges, in the unlikely event she gets nominated or elected, she won’t know where to start.

    1. Michelle and meds says:

      she’ll start by back tracking and say that’s not what she said or meant….and someone forged her signature. ” It wasn’t me !! ” the dam press distorts everything. Just ask Sarah. lol

  23. Max says:

    There is a great editorial in today’s (Saturday) Star-Tribune outlining some absolutely false statements she just made regarding a particular provision in the Health Care Affordability Act. She has one of the worse records in terms of falsehoods and distortions. She is an embarrassment to the state of Minnesota.

    1. porker says:

      don’t ya mean the state of Iowa . 😉

  24. Senora Gringa says:

    I would like to ask Rep. Bachmann what does “Hispanic” mean? Odds are she’ll say Mexican.

  25. Me says:

    I doubt Bachmann can even define the term Hispanic. It isn’t Mexican, I can tell you that.

    1. Jake says:

      I doubt that you could, EITHER, given the juvenile post you put out. I’ll bet that you have trouble pulling your PANTS UP to a reasonble height everyday.

      1. Me says:

        Wow, Jake, you must be a member of Mensa, perhaps the President. Hispanic is from or a descendant of a Spanish speaking country/culture, IE, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia and the United States of America. Let me guess, you’re one of those people that demand Hispanics speak our “official language of Inglush” but yet have a Swedish flag bumper sticker on your car? So, will you be deporting Cameron Diaz or does she meet your American criteria of being blonde, blue-eyed and very, very light skinned? She’s half Cuban.

      2. nope says:

        Jake is a member of the Bachmann toilet brigade. Prolly busy this moring as the clan had a whole night to unload more . STUFF.

  26. Greg Chavez says:

    money changes everthing , cartels have money to payoff anyone on the border. No fences or army is going to stop American greed.

  27. Jake says:

    Greg, if I was prez, that southern border would be shut down tighter than a 12 year old virgin, to include MONEY TRANSFERS. SO WHAT if mexico objects. Don’t tell ME that it can’t be done, it CAN, and it SHOULD.

    1. Nellie Bly says:

      Jake, you’re a xenophobe. Look it up.

      1. Jake says:

        Nellie, you are an ignorant idiot. Find a dictionary.

        1. Ann Arbor says:

          I’ve read your posts, Jake. You’re racist, a xenophobe and woefully ignorant of American history. The oldest continuously occupied city in America was founded by a dude that spoke — Spanish! Where do you think city names like El Paso, Las Cruces and Los Angeles came from? The history of their regions. There is a town in TX that was founded by Germans so they called it New Braunfels. That’s how that works. The founding fathers pick names that apply to them. So, go visit San Diego or San Francisco and see how your ideas are embraced.

  28. Julie says:

    President Obama said a complete fence needs to be built. Stated in 2008 while running for office. He turned out to be a liar.

    1. ?? says:

      or he got smart and saw/sees real priorities. Never heard him say that but they all full up of bullchit so who knows

  29. It's now or never says:

    We have to begin somewhere, not that I’m a fan of Bachman. Looking for a job, if you speak Spanish, you can get paid more. Only in America! Take back our Country, elect a Republican!

    1. Ann Arbor says:

      Take back our country? That’s funny. Look up Gadsden Purchase.

      1. It's now or never says:

        It’s funny because you didn’t understand it!I

        1. Ann Arbor says:

          On the contrary, I know that while my ancestors were puttering around in Ireland, Hispanics were sitting in their casas in what is now Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and areas due north. Many Hispanics in the US have history in this country well before the Pilgrims set sail.

    2. max says:

      Please provide an example of jobs where “if you speak Spanish you get paid more,”

  30. lee says:

    Go back to your home town Michele, you have done nothing for MN.

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