A new Heritage Foundation Study on Immigration puts the cost of Immigration Reform at 6.3 trillion dollars, fully half the size of the entire United States economy. The numbers are derived from the assumption that undocumented immigrants as well as those who are here legally will use public services and welfare and other programs at extremely high rates well above the levels they presently use them prior to immigration reform. The study also notably does not factor in immigrants as contributing a single damn thing to economic growth. It is a worst case scenario study whose numbers are just out in thin air. Enough said.
A Co-author of the study, Jason Richwine, wrote what can only be described as a highly racist and white supremacist doctoral dissertation for a public policy Ph.D. he earned at Harvard University. The Heritage Foundation, backtracking from endorsing Richwine’s work, and its own study, points out that they do not endorse Richwine’s doctoral dissertation from Harvard, though they have hired Richwine as a senior analyst at the Heritage Foundation where he works. And he did in fact co-author the study concerned whatever role he played in the completion of the study.
If the guy’s primary contribution to his field is so objectionable, Struggles for Justice asks why you guys at the Heritage Foundation hired him in the first place?
Here is a key argument from Richwine’s doctoral dissertation that makes you wonder what his defense of the dissertation at Harvard was like and what his three member faculty committee thought of the work:
“The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations. The consequences are a lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low-IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust, and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market.”
Richwine went on to comment, “No one knows whether Hispanics will reach IQ parity with whites but that they’ll have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.”
Republican Senator and presumptive 2016 Presidential nominee Marco Rubio of Florida called the Heritage Foundation study “deeply flawed.” Oddly, Jim De Mint, previously one of the most prominent Republican conservative white men in the U.S. Senate and the new director of the Foundation was the key player in managing and helping fund Rubio’s successful Senatorial run in 2010. Historically, the Heritage Foundation has provided the underpinning for a host of Republican policies and positions over the past several decades.
Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah has introduced 23 Amendments to the 844 page Immigration Reform bill now before the United States Senate. One key Amendment would restrict lawfully employed previously undocumented (illegal) immigrants to work in “Domestic Service.” The jobs opened to Latinos are to be the following:
“Cooks, waiters, butlers, housekeepers, governesses, maids, valets, baby sitters, janitors, laundresses, furnacemen, [Sic.]care-takers, handymen, gardeners, footmen, grooms, and chauffeurs of automobiles for family use.”
Now all of these jobs are good jobs and jobs that can and are held with dignity— needed to help fuel the U.S. economy. But nowhere in Senator Lee’s Amendment does he list managerial, entrepreneurial, and jobs requiring college degrees that would make Latinos upwardly mobile in American society.
The Amendment itself is racist on its face and harkens back to jobs available to blacks in the Jim Crow South and even in the De-facto segregated Northern states.
According to Texas Democratic Congressman Ruben Hinojosa, the Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, “The Heritage Foundation has always been a stalwart of conservatism, but this is commonplace, ugly, racism and xenophobia dressed up in economic hyperbole.” Hinojosa went on to say that “Richwine’s assertions show a man with a flawed understanding of human nature and of immigration. Those who come to America to seek freedom and opportunity arrive with the intent to work hard to build a new life.”
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow had New York Magazine columnist Frank Rich on her program and he had this comment:
“It’s a fascinating battle within the base (of the Republican Party) exemplified by these clowns. If I may use that word. How are they going to do this, how are they going to square the circle? They claim to be welcoming Latinos and are literally insulting their intelligence and even their unborn children’s intelligence. Grandchildren that aren’t even here yet are already being called mentally inferior.”
That is just the point. The Republican Party has and is reaching out to Latinos and blacks and other people of color in order to reverse the disastrous 2012 Election. But all of this raises serious doubts about the sincerity of the moves they are making—whether or not they are really serious about broadening the demographic appeal of the Party.
According to The Daily Beast, “The Republican Party isn’t a racist organization, and conservatism isn’t a racist ideology. Nevertheless, over the last four years, the figures and organizations that have hit hot water over racially charged rhetoric have been overwhelmingly right wing. And survey after survey shows a conservative community that is more likely than other Americans to hold negative opinions about blacks.“
Struggles for Justice concludes that white conservatives remain predominantly racially prejudiced and the political party that speaks for them, the Republican Party, has not been truly sincere about making the huge demographic changes in the make-up of the Party that are so needed for America at large.
You can’t convince people who have been traditionally discriminated against that they are welcome in your political party and its policy positions when those same positions and the way you are acting insults the intelligence of those people and displays a racially prejudiced view of American society.
Instead of believing that the Republican Party has turned over a new leaf with its self-evaluation of their own political defeat, it should be concluded here that white conservatives, overwhelmingly concentrated in the Republican and Tea Party groups, remain as they always have been—unwelcoming to people of color and maintaining policies that are simply not in the interest of those same people who have faced discrimination as immigrants or forced migrants first held in slavery and since then dismissed as being lesser beings by the white majority set to drop off the face of the Earth around 2043 or 2045 whatever Census projections you choose to consult.
Racism is alive and well in the United States and we know who the racists are. This is not only great news for the Democratic Party but it does clarify what people of color need to avoid and condemn in the political arena.
White conservatives, you have been caught with your racial prejudice hanging out.