The Heritage Foundation, a formerly conservative but now right-wing fringe think tank, has been looking into the immigration issue and come to some interesting conclusions.
First, they claimed that immigration reform would add $5.3 trillion to the deficit, which got even the hard right to blink and question the conclusion. Then it turns out that in 2009 one of the authors of the study, Jason Richwine (I know; a name straight out of Dickens), suggested that we bar Hispanics from immigrating because they have a lower IQ.
Richwine’s dissertation asserts that there are deep-set differentials in intelligence between races. While it’s clear he thinks it is partly due to genetics — “the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ” — he argues the most important thing is that the differences in group IQs are persistent, for whatever reason. He writes, “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.”
Toward the end of the thesis, Richwine writes that though he believes racial differences in IQ to be real and persistent, one need not agree with that to accept his case for basing immigration on IQ. Rather than excluding what he judges to be low-IQ races, we can just test each individual’s IQ and exclude those with low scores. “I believe there is a strong case for IQ selection,” he writes, “since it is theoretically a win-win for the U.S. and potential immigrants.” He does caution against referring to it as IQ-based selection, saying that using the term “skill-based” would “blunt the negative reaction.”
The Heritage Foundation is saying that they have nothing to do with the 2009 study and that they’re not racists or anything.
How very reassuring.