Nativism Watch

CIS publishes Jason Richwine, author of racist dissertation and discredited Heritage report

Imagine2050 Staff • Mar 22, 2016

Yesterday, anti-immigrant think tank Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) published a guest post authored by discredited policy analyst Jason Richwine.

The post is the third in as many months that Richwine has authored for CIS. In January, CIS also published a “revised and expanded” version of an article Richwine originally wrote for Real Clear Policy.

In May 2013, Richwine co-authored a deeply flawed Heritage Foundation study on the fiscal impact of immigration. He resigned in disgrace later that week following revelations first published by The Washington Post that Richwine wrote a racist doctoral dissertation, titled “IQ and Immigration Policy,” asserting there are persistent racial differences in IQ.

“No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites,” Richwine writes at one point in his dissertation, “but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.” As Imagine 2050 noted around the time of the Heritage report’s release, Richwine’s work is easily fit within the tradition of the Pioneer Fund’s bigoted legacy of so-called “race realism.”

CIS was aware of Richwine’s bigoted argument well before the release of the Heritage report and details of Richwine’s “IQ and Immigration Policy” surfaced.

Richwine appeared on a July 1, 2008 panel to discuss CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian’s book, The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal. During the panel, Richwine declared “The argument that immigrants themselves are no different from the ones that came 100 years ago I think is quite wrong, and I think that the major difference here is ethnicity — or race, if you will… races differ in all sorts of ways, and probably the most important way is in IQ.”

Predictably, Richwine’s remarks during the 2008 event received enthusiastic praise from noted white nationalists. And Richwine’s work would later be defended by many of the same parties including the virulently anti-immigrant and anti-Black following his 2013 resignation from Heritage.

Dozens of the country’s most prominent and credible economists and policy analysts renounced the Heritage study following its release. CIS, in a rather predictable move given its own history of dubious and misleading research, eventually came to the authors’ defense. On May 13, 2013, a week after the Heritage report’s release, CIS Director of Research Steven Camarota took to National Review Online to defend the widely-discredited report.

“I can thus say with confidence that the Heritage Foundation’s recent report on the fiscal cost of illegal immigrants is the most detailed and exhaustive ever done on this topic,” Camarota wrote.

After leaving Heritage, Richwine took an apparent break from policy analysis for several months. In August 2013, he began blogging on his personal website — mostly on education policy. Around the same time, he became a contributor to National Review Online.

Now, nearly two years after leaving the Heritage Foundation in disgrace, Richwine’s suspect analysis has been formally embraced by CIS.

But, then again, they’ve approved of it for years.

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