Libertarian Scare Tactics Against Enforcing Immigration Laws

Last week anti-tax activist and President of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist, declared that ending birthright citizenship would result in a “tax on every child being born.” Norquist went on to assert that new parents in the U.S. would be required to pay $1,200 to $1,600 per child for government and legal fees to prove the citizenship of their newborn resulting in $2.4 billion annually in federal revenue.

His source was a recent policy brief by the National Federation for American Policy (NFAP). Let’s first note that Norquist is an outspoken supporter of open borders immigration policies. He’s also an advocate for amnesty, signing a pledge seeking “legal avenues” for illegal aliens, and implored Republicans to allow employers in the agriculture and hospitality industries easier access to foreign workers in order to drive down wages. Also, the NFAP has never been a supporter of enforcing immigration laws and have taken open border immigration stances and called for easier access to cheap foreign labor.

Reading through NFAP’s brief it is noticeable that the costs of ending the practice of automatic birthright citizenship were simply invented and do not reflect any actual costs that would arise. Why would someone need to pay additional fees and legal costs to receive citizenship for their newborn? Hospitals already issue birth certificates and Social Security numbers to each newborn whether or not the parents can prove citizenship or legal status (easily done by providing a valid ID or green card – with no additional cost associated).

How much of a burden would it put on parents to show documentation that they were legal residents of the United States? How many U.S. citizens cannot provide proof of their citizenship? The answer is not much and not many. Weigh this against the benefit of being a U.S. citizen. And what is birthright citizenship costing U.S. taxpayers every year? Grover Norquist doesn’t address these questions, and I doubt if he cares. The irony of all this is that while Mr. Norquist and NFAP complain about the difficulty of documenting citizenship, they have consistently fought all efforts to create secure and verifiable documents.

Additionally, the NFAP has historically opposed enforcing immigration laws, arguing that because they cost money they should not be enforced. I am at a bit of a loss here, enforcing laws almost always costs taxpayers money without assurance that it will prevent future crime, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t enforce the law.

I actually respect Grover Norquist’s efforts to cut and eliminate unnecessary government spending, but I think that he should first take a closer look at the $4.2 billion that is given to illegal aliens who ‘qualified’ for the Additional Child Tax Credit in 2010 before attacking efforts to enforce immigration laws and remove the magnet that attracts millions of illegal aliens to the U.S. each year. It is one thing to campaign against excessive spending and onerous taxation. It is another thing altogether to make outrageous and absurd statements and try to pass them off as sound public policy.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar
    John F. Kostrubal on

    This whole immigration issue is a political shame .
    Washington wants to transform this nation into a Welfare state, using the
    immigrant vote and the votes of our poor and mis-informed .
    Our government has had three decades to secure our border after the disastrous 1986 Amnesty .In that time frame, thousands of Americans have lost their lives to foreigners in out nation illegally .Yet the Government does little to completely secure our border, completely build a barrier at the border, as promised after the 1986 Amnesty and continues to grant benefits and incentives to these foreigners .
    With over 40 Million foreigners , both legal and illegal, in our nation today, the government continues to lessen the qualifications for Visas
    Forty percent of illegals in our nation are individuals that have overstayed their visas, and no one in government takes the responsibility to keep tract of visa holders .
    The true cost of immgration in our nation is astronomical .The cost and demand they have on our Medical, Educational, Welfare and all other public assistance programs is mind, boggling Just in LA cOUNTY, the cost runs over $5oo Million annually . Not to mention the cost and demand they have on our Law Enforcement and correctional facilities, where the F,B,I, reports that well over 20% of Federal inmates are non-Americans .
    We need new leadership in Washington and in State governments .

  2. avatar

    I downloaded the “policy brief” referenced and linked in the second paragraph of the article. Clearly written by a muddle-minded liberal trying to fit facts to a pre-determined conclusion.

    Every legitimate birth certificate I have ever seen—long form that is—asks for the birthplace of each parent. If the parent’s birthplace is within the US, then the child’s citizenship is evident. Most people will tell the truth. If it is later found that Maria and Pedro Gonzalez each claimed to have been born in the US to give little Mario citizenship (or any other ethnic), they get prosecuted and deported with any property owned in the US confiscated. So where will it cost even a nickel, let alone $1,000 for “investigation” and another $1,000 for “legal fees”?

    Nah! Strictly liberal think-speak trying to argue an irrational viewpoint.

  3. avatar

    I have been fighting this kind of dangerous nonsense since day one here in Calif., it’s getting worse. Washington knows about this, look how they have elevated mayor Tony V. to a cushy position as head of something, it’s political!

  4. avatar

    There already IS a tax imposed on every US citizen, including newborns. The costs to house, jail, educate (including breakfast, lunch, dinner, ESOL, tutors) and provide medical and social services are paid for by all of us, and our future generations.

    • avatar

      Now that’s looking at it realistically. Grover is like anyone else that sides with Obama. Spew something out – not facts – that makes it look like there is a reason to do whatever it is they want us to.

      They are so blinded by this fascist/socialist garbage they can’t think straight.

  5. avatar

    Look how Australia is handling illegal immigration and muslims…..They say come here legally and you WILL conform to OUR laws. We will NOT change our laws to cater to you

  6. avatar

    I am so dang tired of supporting illegal aliens and their anchor babies. It is cheaper to deport all of them than it is to support them for the rest of their lives on welfare, medicaid, education, jail, etc. They don’t pay taxes but use fake social security numbers and file taxes and get thousand back in “earned income credits” . They play the system and we wonder why America is going broke….. I think ALL AMERICANS should just refuse to file taxes and see where that leaves this crooked administration. Stop illegal obama’s lavish vacations and flying around the country to see these damn basketball games at taxpayers expense

    • avatar


      • avatar

        SusanM: I take issue with only one aspect of your plan. Under Posse Commitatus, it is illegal to use the Army to secure our borders. National Guard is another thing.

        I’m behind you 110% except for that one fine distrinction. When are you announcing your candidacy? 😉

  7. avatar

    We don’t need no anchor babies. We need those medical services for the legal Citizens, or legal immigrants that have come to our Country the right way, and that have sponsors, and not just some faith base outfit that takes care of them for 6 mo.s or so, and then abandons them leaving the states, and counties to pay the bills, and Obama won’t send them back because he and most other liberals think they can sneak these people on to the voting rolls.

  8. avatar

    Along with the promise of jobs, birthright citizenship is the primary magnet that draws illegal aliens to this county. That, and the knowledge that our pro-illegal government will do nothing about their presence. That is the reason illegals can stand up in public and proudly proclaim, “Undocumented and Unafraid!”

  9. avatar

    “Birthright” citizenship CAN END NOW! It is not that hard. Consider WHAT public official (at a local level) is required to “record births” (e.g. a County Clerk). Now, what would happen if ANY county clerk decides that NO BIRTH WILL BE RECORDED if the MOTHER of the newborn child cannot prove her LEGAL RESIDENCY IN THE U.S.? Exactly: NO BIRTH CERTIFICATE IS ISSUED! And try proving American “birthright” citizenship without THAT “little document”! No need to mess with the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment! No need to flout federal law (since a county clerk is only under the jurisdiction of a STATE’S LAW!). Once those here illegally think they can drop a kid and get “birthright citizenship” for it, and not have the paper the prove it, there will be LESS INCENTIVE for illegals to give birth here! Simple as that.

  10. avatar
    cynthia curran on

    The guy still carries al ot of weight in the Republican Party even after his connections with the Moslem brotherhood were expose. HIs for taxing cutting and a lot of Republicans and Libertarians will always forgive Grover.

  11. avatar

    What did you expect from the former speechwriter for the Chamber of Commerce? But immigration is a conundrum for Norquist. He himself said that people who hold a set of beliefs and who support advocacy groups that reflect those beliefs may face conflicts and contradictions. in that case, they should make a hard choice for the highest priority issue. So Norquist’s group is anti-tax. That’s fine, that’s his thing. He believes in free trade, but that is mentioned 1% of the time whenever he appears before media.

    Norquist was also associated with conservative Christian groups, the National Rifle Association and various Tea Party groups, but even if the former two do not have a position on immigration, their membership more likely than not is much stricter on immigration.

    Norquist also headed Janus-Merritt Strategies, a lobbying firm that represented Pakistan, the Congo and Indian gaming industry groups. Again, that would alienate the conservative Christian circles.

    So on immigration Norquist has to walk a fine line between alienating the Tea Party and alienating his unidentified business backers. I’m guessing it’s the Chamber of Commerce, Big Agra, the National Homebuilders’ Association, the National Restaurant Association and other industries that have a vested interest arbitraging wages with undocumented workers.

    I hope that we use Norquists’ tactics against him. Offer candidates a simple pledge that they will not support amnesty or rate their voting records with letter grades like how the NRA does. Folks should also keep the numbers and emails of their Congressmen, Senators and local representatives in their smart phones. When there’s an announcement an upcoming vote on Facebook, everyone calls or emails or goes on their representative’s Facebook walls, cites the HR or S number and let them have a piece of your mind.

    If Norquists gives us grief, then it’s more proof that he’s a pro-amnesty, open-borders shill for free-trading globalists. Let’s see him explain that to the Tea Party he so loves.

  12. avatar

    I believe Birthright citizenship needs to end ASAP. This is one of the worst interpretations of our Constitution. We can name instances of women from many countries who come to this country and stay a few months, have their babies and get their birth certificate and then go home. Here is another instance we all know about: Anwar Al Awalaki, the terrorist whose parents came to America had him in 1971. They all went back to Yemen in 1978. After 11 years he, Al Awalaki and a wife, came back to the U.S., went to Colorado University in 1991. He had a son in the U.S. They finally went back to Yemen and we know the rest of the story. If we did not have birthright citizenship, would Al Awalaki been able to move so freely in America? would we be talking about the U.S. killing an American citizen on foreign land?

  13. avatar

    I’m a Libertarian and this guy is just wrong on so many levels. All that is needed is a domestic birth certificate, period. And, for the record, NOT ALL Libertarians are ‘open border” proponents. In fact most understand that the protection of the borders is a legitimate Constitutional function of the Federal government.

  14. avatar

    Well said. And, add the $113 billion in taxpayer funds used every year to cover the education, medical care, incarceration, and government aid to illegal aliens AND their U.S. citizen children. Depending on what state you live in, the cost to you as a taxpayer can average out to over $1,000 a year. Yes, a year.