In what was quite a heated exchange this Friday, Ann Coulter and anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist debated immigration reform on CNBC’s The Kudlow Report.
In what has been a consistent position of his, Norquist argued in favor of immigration reform, while Coulter said immigrants are too dependent on the welfare state and do not contribute to the economy. She claimed that allowing immigrants into the United States only bolsters businesses that “benefit from slave labor.”
Norquist pointed out that immigration reform is now favored by many small businesses — even people on the religious right — because they are returning to the Reagan-esque notion that immigrants “are an asset to the country and they help make us stronger, they make us grow faster.” Coulter seemed to agree that immigration should be reformed, but that too many immigrants are taking advantage of America’s welfare system, damaging the “servant class.”
In a somewhat inflammatory comment, Coulter said that the U.S. economy needs more skilled and more educated workers as opposed to “cabbage-pickers.” Norquist agreed on the importance of high-skilled immigrants, but also pointed to the need for guest workers, adding that he found it ironic that conservatives would resort to liberal union talking points such as “more people somehow reduce wages.” Directly rebuking Coulter’s comments, Norquist made the piont that “people are an asset, not a liability.”
Watch the exchange in the video below.