July 5, 2013

Grover Norquist on Immigration

Grover Norquist

Dialogue's 20th season leads off with a conversation between host Marcia Franklin and anti-tax activist Grover Norquist. Norquist was in Boise to speak to the City Club of Boise.

Norquist, the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, is best known for his group's "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," which commits the federal and state officeholders who sign it to vote against any attempts to raise taxes.

Lately, though, Norquist has joined his more liberal counterparts in supporting immigration reform. He says providing a path to citizenship for the country's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants will boost the economy and broaden the tax base.

Franklin talks to him about his views, and asks him about criticisms of legislation that has since passed the U.S. Senate, including its price tag, border security and concerns about E-Verify, an online system that allows companies to check the eligibility of workers to work in the United States. She also asks Norquist, who is on the advisory council of GOProud, a gay conservative group, whether he supports allowing same-sex spouses of Americans who are living in other countries to be eligible for citizenship.

Franklin also asks him about the opposition of Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch to the legislation, and gets his prediction for how the bill will fare in the U.S. House, where Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador has pulled out of the main group that is working on a potential compromise.

In the web extra, the two continue their discussion, focusing on what has changed in American society since the last time an immigration bill was in Congress and failed. The two also talk about the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.