Grover Norquist on Open Borders and Historically Racist Immigration Policy

"Historically, opposition to immigration in the United States has been racially and religiously motivated in the ugliest, nastiest way possible," says Grover Norquist, President and Founder of Americans for Tax Reform.

Reason Magazine's Matt Welch caught up with Norquist at this year's Freedom Fest to discuss effective immigration reform.

"[The] people who think that building higher walls or deeper walls or moats and alligators and stuff," Norquist says, "they're chasing problems that can be fixed more easily by expanding liberty rather than contracting it."

Held each July in Las Vegas, Freedom Fest is attended by around 2,000 limited-government enthusiasts and libertarians. ReasonTV spoke with over two dozen speakers and attendees and will be releasing interviews over the coming weeks.

About 12 minutes.

Produced by Tracy Oppenheimer. Camera by Paul Detrick and Oppenheimer.

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  • Acosmist||

    Knee-deep in the fallacies.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I figure'd you would be.

  • hoppy||

    please quit- people want to discuss issues not be annoyed with ads. GO ELSEWHERE!!!

  • Cytotoxic||

    The nutbars at Breit-tard and other right asylums are seriously talking of Norquist as a traitor and some sort of Taqiyya practitioner because of his MOOSLIM wife. Is is his wife hot?

    I am very happy that Norquist is broadening his focus from just taxes to being a voice of reason regarding foreign policy and immigration.

  • Robert||

    You probably know, but just in case not, Norquist has had those views a long time but is a master of strategy & tactics and chose the narrow focus deliberately for himself. He organized libertarians & lib-symps on many issues around him while sticking to one issue personally.

    Norquist has been more effective than all of the LP, and more effective than even predecessor anti-tax activist organiz'ns such as NTU & NTLC.

  • ||

    I'd rather kick out people like you but alas my commitment to individual liberty extends to you as well.

  • ||

    I already live in a NAM majority neighborhood, like many in Houston. Fuck off.

  • ||

    Nam yours first asshole.

  • ||

    Bullshit. Name the neighborhood. What's your occupation?

  • ||

    Put up or shut up Merkin.

  • ||

    I have no idea what this means. Is this dipshit being super racist?

  • Jordan||

    Shut the fuck up, collectivist moron.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Call him "Donny."

  • John Thacker||

    Funny that you're including Asians in your concept of acceptable races, considering that one of the biggest ways that our immigration policy was historically racist was in discriminating against Asian immigration.

  • DarrenM||

    I believe he's referring to this point in time, not 'historically'.

  • PH2050||

    Racists gonna race.

  • hotsy totsy||

    What the hell, you are in a minority country that's the majority? Or is it just the majority neighborhood that's minority?

    I think you mean Black for minority. Because I can think of LOTS of Jewish neighborhoods that I'd love to live in but can't afford to.

  • PH2050||

    "Because I can think of LOTS of Jewish neighborhoods that I'd love to live in but can't afford to."

    Like in the Upper West Side, where there are actually signs saying don't honk your horns.

    Money can buy you a quiet neighborhood.

  • Inigo M.||

    He makes an interesting point. That people complain about immigrants who come here and promptly sign up for welfare says more about the easy availability of unnecessary welfare than it does about immigrants. Why not fix the problems at hand instead of peripheral issues?

  • Jordan||

    Because statist morons would rather double down on illiberal policies when they fail. For example, when they see rising healthcare costs, instead of not paying for people's healthcare, they would rather dictate people's lifestyle choices.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    It's almost like The Road to Serfdom is their travel guide...

    "See all the amazing sights on your way down the slippery slope!"

  • Robert||

    You mean double up, not down. For the past decade or so, people have substituted inappropriate language borrowed from blackjack for the very appropriate phrase that was in use previously, double up. To double down is to double your stake in exchange for a promise not to go any farther than the coming card; I don't think that's what you mean. You can double down only once, but you can double up forever.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Never happens in the real world.

  • ||

    Non-citizens, which most immigrants are, can't vote. God you are clueless.

  • ||

    You are functionally illiterate, aren't you? You don't understand what the word "most" means.

    When most immigrants can't vote at all, why am I supposed to be scared about a tiny subset of voters? Especially when we already have a majority of WHITE voters who ALREADY vote for welfare (as being the "right" race obviously doesn't get you your preferred outcome either)?

  • ||

    Even legal immigrants are mostly here on work or education visas rather than as permanent citizens.

    And when did I state my views on giving citizenship? Oh right, NOWHERE. Functionally illiterate.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Actually the majority of "illegals" came here legally and became illegals when their visas expired.

  • Lyle||

    His analogy of the 55mph Federal speed limit isn't a great analogy. We don't open door policy to free citizenship. Unions also aren't standing in the way of comprehensive immigration reform today, from what I can tell.

    I actually support the piecemeal approach. Lets make the unions look racist or at least worthless in the eyes of their workers.

  • Lyle||

    Yeah, that's exactly what I mean. The Democrats will be back to being their racist old selves.

  • Lyle||

    ... and either pushing racist policies or doing nothing and screwing over their union vote.

    Either way, unions get undermined.

  • sam the man||

    Dude...who is the guy hosting all those union rallies for the "future of America's workers"? Who is the guy saying we need to end free trade and help people here at home? Isn't that "anti-racist" Al Sharpton? GTFO

  • ||

    Oh American, you're so cute when you try to change up your handles. And by cute I mean retarded.

  • ||

    Who else will valet our cars, bus our drinks and serve our passed appetizers at our cocktail partiezzz if we block immigration.

    /American's cosmotarian

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    You forgot about the Asian immigrants: Who else is smart enough to write our alt-text?

  • ||

    Nah, American has a bad case of yellow fever. Asian immigrants are safe for now so I needn't defend them. Besides, were I to put an immigrant group in charge of alt-text it would be an Eastern European; I find the dark sense of humor endemic in places like Bosnia and Romania endearing.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    That's actually why I threw that in there: Racial IQ über alles!

  • Dallas||

    "Nah, American has a bad case of yellow fever."

    Where'd you get that from? The other day he was complaining about how totalitarianism was programmed into their genes.

  • ||

    The other day he was complaining about how totalitarianism was programmed into their genes.

    Nah, he considers "totalitarian" a compliment.

  • A Serious Man||

    Jews were the owners of this delicious small Mexican restaurant and tortilla shop I ate at yesterday?

  • A Serious Man||

    The fact that you think each person has to build you a 21st century economy just proves that, in addition to being a degenerate piece of shit, you're also a collectivist, no different than any socialist who thinks of individuals only in their relation to the state.

  • ||

    This comment is sort of cute in a clumsy, dumb way, like a cat trying to get into a fish tank.

  • ||

    Americans, thinking they should get more than 5$ and hour for their work are socialist collectivist protectionist fascists.

    If whatever it is their doing is only worth $5 an hour to the person paying them to do it, then socialist collectivist protectionist fascist is precisely what they are. Maybe they should learn how to do something more valuable, or find an employer who values that skill more highly.

  • ||

    *they're, not their

  • ||

    Do you realize that I live in a border state, and yet here I sit, making a middle-class salary working for a bank? Not a doctor or a mathmetician, just data entry for the most part. And yet no Mexican has stepped up and taken my job. I wonder why that is?

  • ||

    If you are saying it does, than it's not really a solution for American workers.

    So are you implying that most American workers are too goddamn stupid to do anything competitive or worthwhile? If so, why should I give a fuck about their plight? I don't care about any random anonymous "American" any more than I do the man on the moon.

    If it doesn't, you'd better watch yourself after the amnesty-immigration surge.....

    ...said every closed-borders nut-job since the 50s. And yet it hasn't happened. It will never happen. The "race to the bottom" is such a discredited, disproven economic theory that it's laughable people still subscribe to it.

    Why are the Chinese improving their lives even now? If everyone just gets paid less and less, why are their wages increasing? I guarantee you there are people who could do what I do for half the cost, and yet I'm sitting here, not them. Why isn't almost everyone with easily learned skills making minimum wage?

  • Eitan||

    This is a funny comment. I am a mathematician and the majority of people in my field are FOREIGNERS. I even know a bunch of talented Mexicans!

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    "Those are *good* foreigners, Eitan. Didn't you read The Bell Curve?"

    There, I responded for American, so it wouldn't have to...

  • Eitan||

    Am I allowed to bitch and whine about foreigners stealing my jobs?

  • Eitan||

    There are differences between individuals. No libertarian denies that. Its your collectivist mentality we have difficulty with. You're the one tying a huge group of individuals (Mexicans) together. Let markets sort out who immigrates here since markets are uniquely qualified to individuate such decisions.

  • Eitan||

    Individuals are equal in terms of their rights. I wouldn't disagree that the statistically aggregated measured success of a group of individuals is correlated with the statistically aggregated measured positive qualities of those individuals. It's an obvious consequence of the more fundamental proposition. However, a large amount of the reason that some nations are rich and some are poor has to do with the laws and institutions that exist in those nations. If those laws and institutions favor freedom, then that nation will be more successful than otherwise.

  • Eitan||

    To make a mathematical/financial analogy, it's kinda like the capital asset pricing model, where beta is the correlation between positive qualities and success and alpha is the correlation between freedom and success. They're both important, but you decide where to invest based on alpha :-)

  • ||

    All individuals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

    /merkin

  • Eitan||

  • Gorilla tactics||

    Look I guess GWIA (dunno what that means btw) has somewhat of a point, maybe he is just being clumsy with it. What I don't like about Norquist is that he actually believes we can reform welfare once we reform immigration-that's just fucking bonkers...hispanics WILL give the dems a permanent majority, and there will be no reduction in government. It ultimately boils down to the welfare state...I say we have to get rid of that first, and then have open borders.

    And yes immigrants do come from different cultures that have different values and different emphasees (?) on each of those values-does anyone here honestly believe that muslim immigration into Europe, with its welfare, its nanny state and hate speech laws, has been a net gain for native Europeans? Instead of "assimilating" the muslims, they are ghettoized and more and more Europeans have to lose more and more of their freedoms to "accomodate" them. It's got nothing to do with racism and xenophobia or that lame liberal stand by-fear of the "other"-its just that culture matters in an economy.

  • ||

    GWIA (dunno what that means btw)

    Great White In America?

  • wwhorton||

    Guess What I Ate?

    George Will Is Awesome?

    But to the main point, I think there is some concern about the fact that increased across-the-board immigration will result in a strain on our welfare system. CATO did some studies on this, and the evidence seems to show that 1st gen immigrants do tend to hit welfare to varying degrees, but, overwhelmingly, their children do not, and are net contributors in terms of revenue. So, without talking about welfare reform, you're basically betting that those historical trends continue with increased immigration, trading short-term cost for long-term gain.

    Personally, I'd like to see welfare reform and the ACA repealed before or along with immigration reform, but I think immigration reform is too important to ignore. And, as far as Latin American immigrants "voting for welfare", you don't vote for or against that, you vote for legislators. Democrats, who generally support welfare, are also leading the charge more vocally on open immigration, while the Republicans are talking about chain link fences and drones, for chrissakes. Of course they're gonna vote Dem! But I don't think that means that they or other immigrant groups will be less likely or able to assimilate, and, once they're part of American society, their political behavior will be subject to the same influences that native-born Americans experience.

  • hoppy||

    Good for you- finally an educated response:)

  • hoppy||

    This didn't go where I meant it to!!! This reply was for the mathematician working with intelligent folk.

    To GWIA- yeah we imported blacks- on slave ships!! It's not like they were lining up to immigrate.

    Everyone who isn't Native American is an immigrant. How can you discriminate against immigrants when you are here only BECAUSE of immigration. Quit watching Fox news. It's warping your mind

  • Eitan||

    So, what's wrong with poor people who aren't lucky enough to be born in America improving their lives? Why should I care more about poor Americans I don't know than about poor Mexicans I don't know?

  • ||

    Because "collectivism!" Being born on this side of a random line in the sand makes you my brother, whereas being born on that side of the random line makes you my enemy.

    See? It makes complete sense!

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Just explain to American that your preferred immigration solution is like the Lebensborn e. V.

  • Eitan||

    It's also called nationalism or collectivism. I can understand the view but find it reprehensible. It's also the government acting in the interests of certain citizens and not others (namely, employers).

    Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  • Eitan||

    Poor Americans, having eight times the job opportunity of a Mexican instead of ten times...

  • Eitan||

    Because the USA has more economic freedom than Mexico...

    Aside: We've been using the word "American" incorrectly. Mexicans are Americans.

  • hotsy totsy||

    "Mexicans are Americans" is correct. Look at a map. Mexico is part of North America. The United States of America was formed a couple centuries after the newly discovered continents were named America.

  • hotsy totsy||

    The founding fathers had nothing to do with the naming of those two continents. They put United States and added "of America" to distinguish it from other parts of America. Not to distinguish America from other "United States".

    The name United States was to emphasize the independent quality of each state, and their unity was based on each supporting the principles in the Constitution.

    And they would certainly have rejected what you call patriotism.

  • Black&Yellow||

    "It's called patriotism"

    jingoistic ethnocentrism.

  • PH2050||

    Patriotism, aka religious belief in a government.

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • hotsy totsy||

    That's not called patriotism at all. If it was then union workers are NOT patriotic because they want to gouge the rest of us.

    According to sociologist Geert Hofstede, of all cultural traits associated with different nations, the one most highly correlated with wealth is individualism, as opposed to collectivism. Not Equality, not work ethic, not orderliness and not whether people spend rather than save.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Auto union workers don't have the intelligence to be a doctor or mathematician, but they expect to get PAID like one, just for being their wonderful American selves.

  • amagi1776||

    Grover is pro-immigration, pro-gay rights (he supports GOProud). I never understand why the left treats this guy like the anti-Christ?

  • ||

    Grover is The Kochs are pro-immigration, pro-gay rights (he they supports GOProud). I never understand why the left treats this these guys like the anti-Christ?
  • PH2050||

    Ha! Nice one.

  • Longview||

    Immigration built the country. The immigration of the 20s and 30s is not comparable to modern immigration. The US was in the midst of an industrial revolution and required a new generation of Americans to support it.

    Illegal immigration primarily consumes low-paying unskilled jobs traditionally regulated for young people. When I left high school virtually every low-service low-skilled job was occupied by illegal immigrants. The only jobs available were low-paying jobs provided by corporate supermarkets and large franchises. In our "capitalist"
    system employers would be stupid to not hire illegal immigrants.

    The resources devoted to deporting and dealing with illegal immigrants takes away resources from the thousands of people WAITING IN LINE LEGALLY and spending their life-savings trying to get into this country. By not enforcing immigration laws we are disrespecting people who actually follow our laws.

    Today, we have a surplus of skilled Americans and unskilled laborers who cannot find jobs. H-1B visas have allowed big corporations to import highly educated foreigners and pay then them wages far below the median. No surprise Microsoft and Apple remain the largest proponent for these laws.

    Check out immigration laws of other countries? Progressive Europeans? Canada? Mexico? Are they racist?

    We don't need a wall or barrier. What we do need are punishing immigration laws that make it miserable and provide no incentive for illegal immigration.

  • DrZin||

    Really? Another one who is unable to distinguish between immigration and ILLEGAL immigration? How f***ing disingenuous is that?

  • conlib707||

    Norquist is a "dirty rat"...period!

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