Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) President Grover Norquist submitted testimony to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in support of S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. Excerpts from his testimony:
On immigrants’ contribution to our country:
“Mr. Chairman, people are an asset, not a liability. America is the most immigrant-friendly country in the world, and we are the richest country in the world. This is not a coincidence. Those who would make us less immigrant-friendly would make us less successful, less prosperous, and less American.”
On the importance of dynamically scoring this legislation:
“The broad issue of dynamic scoring applies specifically to immigration reform because immigrants increase both the supply and demand sides of the economy. On the supply side, immigrants work and thereby increase economic production and the productivity of Americans. Because immigrants have different skills, they are complements rather than competitors to the vast majority of Americans. On the demand side, immigrants purchase and rent goods, services, and real estate produced by other Americans, thus incentivizing production. “
On the importance of a flexible labor market:
“Allowing undocumented workers to move from job to job, travel easily and safely, search out and interview for different jobs in different sectors and locations would greatly increase their productivity, and they would become greater contributors to their own well-being and the wealth of our nation.”
On the radical motivations of anti-immigration activists:
“There are groups that oppose growing the American economy via more immigration because of their extreme environmental and population control views, because they have a flawed Malthusian view of the economy, and because they don’t understand free markets. Their failed arguments against immigration are also arguments against having children. These groups view people not as assets, but as liabilities. This is a fatally flawed argument, and completely inconsistent with conservative principles.”
On Grover’s personal belief in the importance of immigration, which he shared with President Reagan:
“Mr. Chairman, it is my belief that a position in favor of more legal immigration and a fair and humane path to citizenship for those undocumented immigrants already here is wholly consistent with the ideals of the center-right movement I have worked my entire life to help build. I believe that free markets lead to economic growth and prosperity for all. This includes free and flexible labor markets, which will benefit not only those who wish to come here to pursue the American Dream, but also those of us blessed enough to have been born in the United States of America.
“I conclude with an excerpt from President Ronald Reagan’s farewell address to the nation, in January of 1989.
“’I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.’”
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