Anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist predicted Tuesday that some sort of immigration reform will pass Congress, arguing that the United States’ immigration policy separates America from China and the rest of the world in the modern economy.
There are a handful of elements to reform — some of which could move sooner than others, said Mr. Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform.
“I think we should have a guest worker program for sure — we should take quality guys that come here and get Ph.D.s, we should hand them a Visa and say you want to stay and work? We’d love to have you stay here and start companies,” Mr. Norquist said on CSPAN’s “Washington Journal.” “Forty percent of our Fortune 500 companies are run by either immigrants or the sons or daughters of immigrants, so immigration brings a lot of talent, a lot of opportunity.”
“It’s what makes the United States dynamic versus the rest of the world,” Mr. Norquist continued.
“The reason we’re the future and China isn’t is [because] we do immigration and have a growing population and a more vibrant one. [There’s] a lot of whining that goes on during this process, but we watched 50 years ago and 100 years ago when our parents showed up, or got whined at, and now we’re whining about the new guys. But in point of fact, I think that we’ll see some sort of reform because we need to do something,” he said.
Mr. Norquist specifically mentioned that something should be done to address so-called “Dreamers,” or children of illegal immigrants brought to the country by their parents.
He is the second high-profile advocate in two days to make the business case for increased immigration, following remarks Monday from U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue.
“Immigrants do not typically compete with Americans for jobs, and, in fact, create more jobs through entrepreneurship, economic activity, and tax revenues,” Mr. Donohue said. “Immigrants serve as a complement to U.S.-born workers and can help fill labor shortages across the skill spectrum and in key sectors.”
The U.S. Senate passed a broad rewrite of U.S. immigration laws last summer, a key feature of which would provide an eventual pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal aliens currently in the country.
House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, has expressed interest in taking a piecemeal approach on the issue and dealing with individual items like border security, but said the effort has stalled because of a lack of trust among the GOP that President Obama will enforce the country’s laws.
Mr. Obama is scheduled to host Mr. Boehner for a meeting at the White House Tuesday morning.