She's not using John McCain's painfully forced "complete the danged fence" phrase, but Michele Bachmann is vowing to do just that. Yesterday the struggling Tea Party favorite signed a pledge to complete a double fence along the whole US-Mexico border by 2013, calling it "job No. 1," reports the Los Angeles Times. "And it will be every mile, it will be every yard, it will be every foot, it will be every inch of that border, because that portion you fail to secure is the highway into the United States."
Bachmann is so far the only candidate to sign the pledge of Americans for Securing the Border; she also indicated that she'd be willing to authorize federal agents to conduct raids in search of illegal immigrants. By doubling down on immigration, she turns the heat up on Rick Perry, whose longtime support of in-state tuition for illegals has proven less than popular among conservatives. Bachmann emphasized the national security aspect of the border, saying, "Fifty-nine thousand this year came across the border … from Yemen , from Syria. These are nations that are state sponsors of terror. They're coming into our country." Only Syria is among the four nations the US lists as state sponsors of terror, notes the Times.