Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann says there’s a war raging along the U.S./Mexican border and it’s time to secure the area.
“We should build a fence on every mile, every yard, every foot and every inch of that southern border because we are engaged in a narco-terrorism war,” Bachmann said in Sioux City this afternoon. “Narcotics are coming through. Guns are coming through and also terrorists.”
A poll conducted in June found 15 percent of the Iowa Republicans surveyed classified illegal immigration as their number one issue. Texas Governor Rick Perry, one of Bachmann’s rivals for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, supports heightened security along the border and fencing in some urban, high-traffic areas, but Perry says it’s a “ridiculous” idea to build a fence along the entire border.
According to data from the 2010 Census, people of “Latino origin” are now the state’s largest ethnic minority, making up five percent of Iowa’s total population. Bachmann made her comments about the U.S./Mexican border to a crowd of about 80 in Sioux City, an area which has seen more significant growth in its Latino population. About 14.5 percent of the residents in Sioux City, Iowa, are Latino according to the latest Census data. Across the border in South Sioux City, Nebraska, Latinos make up 45 percent of that city’s population.
(Reporting in Sioux City by Woody Gottburg of KSCJ Radio; editing by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)