(The Hill) — The chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus denounced Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain for saying this weekend that the border fence should be electrified to discourage illegal immigration, saying he saw “nothing funny about killing other human beings.”
“Words have consequences, both in shaping ideas and inspiring actions. Whether or not he made his comments in jest, Mr. Cain’s words show a lack of understanding of the immigration issues our country is facing and a staggering lack of sensitivity,” Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-Tex.) said in a statement. “Surely, Mr. Cain understands the duty that candidates have to offer responsible policy proposals.”
At a pair of campaign stops Saturday in Tennessee, Cain said his administration would build a 20-foot electrified border fence to keep out illegal immigrants.
“That’s not a serious plan, that’s a joke,” Cain said. “I’ve also said America needs to get a sense of humor. That was a joke, OK?”
Cain went on to say that he would actually secure the border through a combination of a physical fence, technology, and possibly even military troops.
But Gonzalez said the idea was no joking matter.
“Mr. Cain has said that America ‘needs to get a sense of humor,’ but I see nothing funny about killing other human beings. Leave the comic routines to the professional comedians,” Gonzalez said. He went on to urge Republican candidates to “immediately repudiate Mr. Cain’s comments and to show strong disapproval of even so-called jokes about killing human beings.”