The Made-Up Numbers Dominating the Immigration Debate
May 11, 2013 Leave a comment
The co-author of the report, Jason Richwine, resigned yesterday in disgrace after economists attacked the report’s flawed methodology and his racist assumptions (Richwine believes Latinos have lower IQs than whites). So why does the Heritage Foundation continue to defend the Richwine/Rector immigration report?
The Heritage Foundation made a splash early this week with a report predicting that the current immigration reform bill being debated in the Senate would cost the U.S. government $6.3 trillion dollars in benefits like Social Security, Medicare, means-tested welfare, and other programs over 50 years. The basic logic behind the study is that undocumented immigrants are far lower skilled and less educated than the average American, and therefore these folks will, on average, take more in benefits than they will contribute in taxes.
The analysis fomented significant backlash, not just from the liberal outfits you’d expect but also from conservative groups like the Cato Institute and the American Enterprise Institute that support immigration reform. The two biggest flaws in the report, according to these critics, were that it did not take into account any…
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