Iowa Congressman Steve King is testifying before a House committee today on his plan to build a wall along the border with Mexico. Before he was elected to represent Iowa’s fifth congressional district in Washington, King was an earth-moving contractor.
The western Iowa representative says that’s the basis for his idea of building a fence to halt the flow of illegal aliens across the US border with Mexico. The design he envisions is a pre-cast concrete wall, 12 feet high and about 6 inches thick. “We’re spending right now about four-Million dollars a mile to guard our border,” King says. “This fence could be constructed and installed for about one-point-three-Million dollars a mile.”
There would be some maintenance, he admits, and the wall would still require some guarding. “I think that we need to put together a system that is effective, that uses the taxpayers’ money wisely, and that’s why I designed the wall.”
King’s put together his own wall, a model to show people what he’s talking about, though when he displayed it last week on the House floor, his description drew some criticism. It includes wire along the top of the wall.
King says he described an electrical charge for the wire, to deter anyone from trying to climb over it. “To make sure the urban people in the country” understood, he says he made clear it would be a non-lethal current, like farmers use electric fences to keep livestock safe. “They would then…jump to the conclusion that we don’t take good care of our livestock and of course we do.”
Hearings will be held around the country on the issue of illegal immigrants, and King says he’ll attend all the meetings he can. King says the Senate is backing a policy of granting amnesty to alien workers in the U.S. today, while the House favors tough enforcement.
King says if the administration has “made a real serious effort’ to enforce immigration laws on the books, including tightening the border and sanctions against employers who hire illegals, there would be more support for the president’s proposed guest-worker program. King says even if we could prevent people from hiring illegal immigrants he thinks 90-percent of the illegal drugs consumed in America are carried here across the Mexican border so more needs to be done to prevent travel across the border.