Foot in mouth diseaseRep. Steve King (R-Iowa) argues for electrifying fence on U.S.-Mexico border • “We do that with livestock all the time”

Published 19 July 2006

Representative King pushes the envelope: Why not install an electric fence along the U.S.-Mexico border? He argues that in his home state the method works well in controlling cattle

Last week, on the House floor, Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) made his case for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border by showing a miniature version of a border wall which he claimed to have designed. The mock fence stood in a box of mock sand representing the desert. What got everybody’s attention was what King said next: “I also say we need to do a few other things on top of that wall, and one of them being to put a little bit of wire on top here to provide a disincentive for people to climb over the top…. We could also electrify this wire with the kind of current that would not kill somebody, but it would be a discouragement for them to be fooling around with it. We do that with livestock all the time.”

King spokeswoman Summer Johnson disputed the notion that it was an immigrant-livestock comparison, saying, “He was comparing a fence to a fence — a border fence to an Iowa farm fence.”