Opposing Voices Come Out in Favor of Immigration Reform

Chicago, IL- The hope that immigration reform would actually become a reality was dashed last week when House Speaker John Boehner said the Senate bill was dead on arrival. The stubbornness of House Republicans on this issue is frustrating strong political voices on the left and right who are putting intense public pressure of the House leader.

You wouldn’t normally find Chicago’s very liberal Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and prominent Conservative Grover Norquist agree on too many issues, but the two had a meeting of the minds Monday, both offering scathing indictments of anti-immigration reform Republicans.

The sticking point for Republican is the pathway to citizenship, which they believe will have these very negative and detrimental effects like suppressing wages and sucking our public programs. Grover Norquist disagrees and has this hope that the majority of Republicans will finally tell the very loud minority– of which Sen. Ted Cruise and Rep. Steve King serve as good examples– to shut up and pass immigration reform.

“The argument that immigration suppresses wages is an argument against having children because it depresses wages, because there are more people,” Norquist, head of the Americans for Tax Reform. “But they’re also anti-people. How do you argue with people who think that people are the problem? That’s not something that sells as well as they think it does.”

Rahm Emamnuel echoed Norquist’s sentiments stating, “Volume does not reflect depth. Leaders in the Republican Party have allowed the screamers … to define who the Republican Party is.”

Norquist, speaking at an even hosted by the Atlantic, addressed the claims about wage suppression. “When you have more people moving into an area of economic growth, you actually get more growth,” Norquist said. Adding, “People are an asset,” Politico reported.

To Tea Party Republicans, offering a pathway to citizenship is the equivalent to amnesty and rewards lawbreakers. But the reality is that the millions of immigrants who would be eligible for citizenship are already here and have been here for years. They have built their lives here and have become contributing members of the communities where they live. Allowing them to become citizens mean they will have to pay taxes which will generate revenue that will help reduce the national deficit and make social security solvent well into the future.

Sensible Republicans like former President George Bush and Grover Norquist recognize the economic contributions of immigrants. So to do the American people, but the loud voices in Republican Party are doing everything they can to tank the legislation and at this point refuse to even debate the bill.

Both Emmanuel and Norquist are confident that Speaker Boenher will eventually come around and allow the immigration reform bill to go before the House. Norquist said “members like King,” are trying to halt the process because they know the majority of Republicans are moving towards yes on the bill.

“[The] voices that are shrill arguing, ‘Let’s not have a vote,’ are doing so because they understand that every day, the Republican caucus is moving toward yes,” Norquist said. He added that he House isn’t going take orders from the Senate. Maybe the Tea Party Republicans don’t want immigration reform and want but this is supposed to be a democracy. If the majority of Americans want immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship, then isn’t the responsibility of elected officials to follow the will of the people?