A conservative power player, best known for leading the Republican charge against tax increases, spent some time on Friday advocating for a different cause: immigration reform.
Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform, gave the keynote speech at the Midwest Summit, which brought together 80 regional leaders from business, faith and law enforcement.
“It’s the most important thing to focus on if you’re concerned about the future of the country both as an economic power and as a serious leader of the world, or simply as a successful society,” Norquist said in the address. “It’s not only good policy to have more immigrants in the United States—dramatically more immigrants than we do today, to having a path forward for those people who are here. It’s not only a good idea, but it’s good politics.”
Republican candidates who champion restrictionist immigration policies are betting on a losing horse, Norquist argued in his address.
“We have tested this issue again and again and again,” he said. “It’s not like 10 times we win, 10 times they win. These dice are fixed, guys. The pro-immigrant, pro-comprehensive position keeps winning on this.”
In an interview with ABC/Univision after the speech, Norquist said that supporting reform doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning border security.
“I think we need comprehensive reform that deals with the people who’ve been here for some time,” Norquist said, going on to cite a quote whose origin he couldn’t quite remember. “I don’t care how tall the fence is as long as the doors are big enough.”