Grover Norquist Displays His Ignorance

Grover Norquist – the promoter of the no new taxes pledge – doesn’t like the new FAIR Congressional Task Force pledge to oppose amnesty for illegal aliens and increased legal immigration. That’s probably because he is an open-borders supporter.

But his statement as to why he opposes the pledge had the effect of revealing his ignorance of current immigration law and history. Norquist told, that in his view, “The easiest parts for free market Reagan Republicans is to say, ‘We ought to have a guest worker program particularly in the farm industry. There are a lot of jobs that are seasonal. It’s hard to make a living if jobs show up for three months and then disappear, but people can come in as guest workers.'”

That sounds reasonable, right? Sure, but it ignores the fact that there is a visa program for guest agricultural workers. It is termed the H-2A visa program, and the number of temporary workers who can be brought into the country in that program is unlimited.

Norquist also became nostalgic. “And that worked very well during the Eisenhower years with the Bracero program — we had very little illegal immigration during that period because people could come over and work and then head back home again and come back each year with a permit, with a card which made it OK.”

The trouble with his history lesson is that the Bracero program was adopted in 1942 during a period of farm labor shortage because young males were conscripted into the military to fight WWII and many women went to work in factories. But it did not end with the end of the war. It lingered until 1964 because employers found they could depress wage costs by hiring Mexican workers rather than U.S. workers. Wages in seasonal agriculture atrophied and labor leaders like Cesar Chavez supported efforts to end the program. Norquist also is apparently oblivious to the fact that the flow of Mexicans into the U.S. under the Bracero program got so out of hand that President Eisenhower ordered the immigration authorities to begin  Operation Wetback to round up and send back to Mexico the enormous number of Mexicans who entered as Bracero workers and then stayed illegally.

The H-2A visa program – unlike the Bracero program – has worker protections to prevent foreign guest workers from being exploited, as happened during the earlier program.

So, in his blissful ignorance, Norquist fails to understand that we already have an agricultural guest worker program, and he fails to recognize the flaws in the Bracero program that the current program is designed to correct.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    Actually, John Perot, it is you who is blissfully ignorant about the myriad of harmful effects illegal alien invaders have on the U.S. and its citizens. Why don’t you go on over to the Heritage Foundation website and take a look at Robert Rector’s exhaustive studies on illegal aliens and legal immigrants and the fact that they contribute only about one third of what they take out of our economy?

    Please don’t forget that this country is governed by the Rule of Law and that illegal aliens violate American sovereignty and the Rule of Law. Oh, and what about the millions of American citizens who are either under-employed or unemployed? Why aren’t you championing them instead of illegal aliens – after all the United States is their country.

    • avatar

      byacmac it is obvious you are blissfully ignorant as well…….you go to the restaurants, movies, etc etc where the illegals have been abused to clean those places SO how come r u not championing a political spot to fix this?

      You should travel our country and get to see our reality. This is not Russia where we our gov governs by fear…this is for you American lesson 101: The People should uphold the Law once enacted by Congress……………so why do you support illegals by buying and going to places where they work?……….really…you support illegal immigration this way………….

      After your feedback you are basically saying you know everything there is to know about illegal immigration because of the HF website?……the reality is that we allowed this to happen as The People and that involves you, me and everybody else………..

      You should be a bit more 1st World Citizen like and do your research instead of believing what you read…..I see a bit of lack of intellect right there.

      • avatar

        John Perot, you don’t know where I go or whether illegals have been abused. I have put in a lot of effort and time for years to stop illegal immigration, which will stop employers from abusing illegal aliens. I share no blame in the illegal immigration problem; I have done nothing to encourage or perpetrate it. Those who hire them and take advantage of them are to blame.

        I have traveled our country and lived in other countries as well. Therefore, I have a good idea of how things are done here and abroad.

        You said, “The People should uphold the Law once enacted by Congress,” I most certainly do, it is our president and elected representatives who do not. But, apparently you don’t. You are here defending criminal foreign nationals. Why?

        I didn’t say that I know everything there is to know about illegal immigration because of the Heritage Foundation website, I said you should read Robert Rector’s studies about how much illegals and legal immigrants contribute to this country. By the way, this website has a wealth of information about immigration issues.

        Speaking of a lack of intellect, your response is full of false assumptions as I have pointed out. In addition, why are you championing for illegal aliens when they have no respect for our country or its laws. Commit ID fraud, and a long list of other crimes? Aren’t you confused about who you are, where you live and who you should be standing up for?

        • avatar

          Interestingly enough it is you who assumes a great deal of things. You appear to hide behind some correctness as to my feedback but lack to give real examples of these people, really.

          Like I said the ones that contributed or contribute to our Nation. If you think no illegals do that then like I said you lack of intellect and therefore unable to think like an American and as a result getting frustrated and ask me irrational questions…..which by the way,,,,my background probably is actually rarely seeing as nowadays anybody with connections to the forefathers and the beginnings with a continuous line of contributors to the land, including myself are the minority nowadays.

          So to answer your irrational Qs, my line came here to colonize. fight, fund the American Revolution, Congress, scientist to who I am today…………so it appears you need to learn how to be a real American and face our issues by being responsible and accountable of our problems as a Nation NOT as an individual person…..that is your real issue.

          Study the Dredd & Scott USP Court Supreme decision our 14th Amendment, how we became a Power and how we assimilated people all there years. Last, get a healthy dosis of our current System….I cannot teach/baby sit you, you need to go through the effort yourself.

          I stand up for justice as an American…..and will give my life to be buried in this land regardless…..SO

          who do you stand for and what your real allegiances to what country do you or are from? I will tell you , you only stand by and for yourself on this so therefore you have no country…………..again if you do not understand this then two things: you have no intellect and/or choose not to use it and you are not behaving like an American.

          It is as simple as that.

          • avatar

            Gosh John Perot, your post is full of gibberish!

            I did give facts regarding illegal aliens and legal immigrants contributions to our economy. They take out an average of two thirds and put in only one third. That means taxpayers subsidize their existence here, which is unfair and is destroying the quality of life for American citizens.

            I don’t ask irrational questions. I want to know why you made this ludicrous statement, “I stand up for justice as an American…..and will give my life to be buried in this land regardless…..SO

            who do you stand for and what your real allegiances to what country do you or are from?”

            You don’t stand for justice when you advocate and support illegal aliens. It’s real simple, they reside here illegally and belong in their home countries. They commit ID fraud in order to work, which is a felony. They are in violation of U.S. sovereignty and the Rule of Law.

            So, how on earth can you possibly rationalize that you fit in as standing up for justice? Please explain to us how that is possible? There is no need for you to continue ranting about intellect, test yours and prove to us that you are intelligent by explaining how you can champion the causes of illegal aliens when their definition clearly reveals their illegality?

        • avatar

          bjacmac if you yourself were sure of who you are and no confused yo would not be asking these questions………….aAperhaps this is one to ask Jack? who does not uphold the 1st amendment and censors my feedback so unamerican……

      • avatar

        I would bet that bjacmac supports e verify to make sure no illegals are working when they shouldn’t be.

  2. avatar

    Once They Get in as Farm Workers

    They switch to home construction, service industry and all other jobs too. They’ll work for less money, many at unlivable pay levels for legal Americans, some at high paid union wages. They bring in their hoards of family chain migration too. They compete for our scarce jobs too.

    But open border pundits could care less.

  3. avatar

    Jack actually you, I and everybody else has some blissful ignorance in the matter of Immigration Reform because basically we do not know everything there is to know about it……but one thing for sure…there are those illegals that are good for our economy…………and if you censor this and take it out then you would really be worse than Norquist in your own eyes…

    • avatar

      Why are you always complaining about censorship? Anyone on either side can post here. You do.

    • avatar

      Based On History and Documented Cost Savings to the Legal American Consumer

      Document your wild allegation that IAs are good for America. Seems to me food costs at the store went through the roof and so did housing costs as we brought them in….what good are they to the tax payers, not just your Slavelords?

    • avatar

      John Perot, you said, “but one thing for sure…there are those illegals that are good for our economy…………”
      Sorry to rain on your parade, but there are no illegals who are good for our economy.

      Illegal aliens are by their very definition “illegal” and cannot work unless they commit ID fraud or work under the table – both in violation of our laws. Illegal aliens are in no position to earn enough in wages to sustain themselves, but instead rely on taxpayers to subsidize their existence in the U.S.

      Illegal aliens take America jobs, lower wages, many commit violent crimes, their children lower the quality of our schools, and the list goes on. In addition, there are millions of unemployed and underemployed American citizens. It makes no sense whatsoever to argue that illegal aliens should be residing in the U.S. and to give them amnesty is insane.

      However, if you can make an intelligent and reasonable argument why I am wrong using facts, then I welcome your response.

  4. avatar

    Chavez actually led a demonstration at the border in the 60s, calling on the government to stop the flow of illegals that were depressing the wages of his United Farmworkers Union. Walter Mondale accompanied him. Funny how everyone forgets the things they believed years ago. Like Harry Reid supporting the end of birthright citizenship. We simply cannot have a system that allows millions of poor undereducated people to enter illegally and to have children that the US taxpayers support.

    Big news about the climate change report. Funny how all the people who endorse that report then turn around and advocate even more immigration to add to our growing population. One of the predictions is more drought in the midwest and southwest. But let’s keep pretending we can add more people and it’s no problem. We’re desperately short on water now in many areas.