Influential Conservative Groups Praise Immigration Reform Bill

Kevin Glass

4/17/2013 3:15:00 PM - Kevin Glass
As more and more eyeballs are getting the opportunity to read through the 877-page comprehensive immigration reform bill from the Gang of Eight, opinions are beginning to be formed. Two influential conservative groups have given the Gang of Eight legislation their blessing, which could spell good news for the Rubio-backed effort.

The American Conservative Union yesterday announced their support for the framework in a statement from Chairman Al Cardenas. "The proposal put forward by the ‘Gang of 8’ in the Senate puts border security first and puts legal immigration ahead of those who are here illegally," Cardenas said, "with appropriate triggers and penalty fines."

Cardenas framed the debate as between a radical President Obama and a more moderate and careful Senate. "It is clear that under the Obama administration none of these things will happen without legislation and that’s why this proposal as described deserves a positive response," Cardenas said.

While it's interesting to pit the Gang of Eight against the White House, President Obama was actually one of the first to endorse the immigration bill framework, saying it is "largely consistent" with his own preferred immigration legislation.

Perhaps less surprising, Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, and the Chamber of Commerce both announced their support as well. Both of them portrayed immigration reform as a potential benefit to the economy.

"Rather than being a cost to the country," Norquist said, "the bill would be a ‘boon’ to the economy and would save taxpayers money because those with the provisional visas won’t be eligible for federal benefits." This is unsurprising - Norquist has been a big booster of immigration reform for a long time now.

Thomas Donohue, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement "We welcome this legislation as a critical step toward a final law that will work for our economy and for our society."