Iowa Senator Tom Harkin voted with the majority Wednesday in approving a Senate plan for a triple-layer fence along the Mexican border. The vote put the democrat Harkin in the rare position of agreeing with republican President George Bush.
Harkin says he is for a “broad comprehensive immigration bill, quite frankly much along the lines of what President Bush talked about. I quite frankly find myself in accordance with his thoughts on this.” Harkin says the vote on the fence had to do with portions of the border where fences and transportation type barricades are advisable.
Harkin is quick to point out the fences and barriers approved in the Senate are nothing like a House proposal to close off the border. Harkin says, “This is not a wall. This is not a two-thousand mile long fence that would go along the border, nothing like that. It’s just in selected areas.” While Harkin agrees with the President on most the immigration plan, Harkin says he disagrees with using National Guard troops on the border.
Harkin says the border patrol should handle that duty, and says in 2004 Congress mandated hiring two-thousand additional border patrol officers, but Harkin says the President and republican-controlled Congress refused to fund them. Harkin says, “It’s not the right use of the national guard.” Iowa’s other Senator, Republican Charles Grassley, also voted for the Senate plant that includes the fence.