Cross-Post from MSNBC: Meet the Grover Norquist of the Immigration Debate

Imagine 2050 Staff • Dec 04, 2012

Roy Beck (top) Speaking at the 1997 National Gathering of the Council of conservative Citizens, a group that refers to African Americans as “a retrograde species of humanity.”

by , @janestreet, for MSNBC

Since Hispanics turned out in record numbers to help re-elect President Barack Obama, Washington has been filled with optimistic talk that Republicans will finally moderate their stance on immigration, making comprehensive reform possible.

But just as the GOP’s anti-tax enforcers are making it hard to come up with a compromise on how to avoid the fiscal cliff, so too is the party’s hard-line anti-immigration faction likely to stand in the way of any deal to fix our broken immigration system.

That means it’s worth getting to know the Grover Norquist of the anti-immigration lobby.

Roy Beck may not have a pledge, but he does have Numbers USA—an influential lobbying and grassroots group with 1.3 million members, which focuses on limiting and reducing the numbers of immigrants in the country.

Beck’s group flexed its muscles during lobbying over a Republican-backed immigration bill thatpassed the House Friday, which would create visas for math and science graduates from American universities, while eliminating the Diversity Visa Program, a lottery that randomly awards visas to applicants from countries that send the fewest immigrants to America, and whose beneficiaries tend to be poorer and less educated.

Since Democrats control the Senate, the bill almost certainly will go no further. But the debate over the measure made clear that Numbers USA has emerged as a powerful force on immigration—stronger, bigger, and more influential than when it was credited with stopping in its tracks President George W. Bush’s push for immigration reform back in 2007.

Beck downplays his influence, but nonetheless says he doesn’t think the bill [….]

Continue Reading the piece here.

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