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Heritage Foundation Member Says Immigrants Have Lower IQs

Heritage Foundation member Jason Richwine wrote a 2009 dissertation stating that immigrants have lower IQs than the "white native population."
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Heritage Foundation member Jason Richwine has been called out for his doctoral dissertation in which he says immigrants have an I.Q. that is “substantially lower than that of the white native population.”

Even that statement, taken from the summary of his dissertation, is flawed because the white population isn’t native to this country.

He wrote the dissertation, titled “I.Q. and Immigration Policy” in 2009 to get his doctorate in public policy from Harvard University. The rest of the summary reads:

“The statistical construct known as IQ can reliably estimate general mental ability, or intelligence. 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. Selecting high-IQ immigrants would ameliorate these problems in the U.S., while at the same time benefiting smart potential immigrants who lack educational access in their home countries.”

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Richwine believes the difference in IQ between races is partially because of genetics. He says, “the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ.” He also says that no change is forthcoming for immigrants in writing, “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.”

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank where Richwine has served as a quantitative policy analyst since 2012, has distanced itself from the dissertation. Mike Gonzalez, vice president for communications, emailed the Washington Post, saying, “This is not a work product of The Heritage Foundation. Its findings in no way reflect the positions of The Heritage Foundation. Nor do the findings affect the conclusions of our study on the cost of amnesty to the U.S. taxpayer.”

The study, titled “The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer,” was released May 6 by the foundation and says the new immigration reform plan will cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion. Written by Richwine and Robert Rechtor, a senior research fellow at Heritage, the study asserts that immigrants would receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits, but only pay $3.1 trillion in taxes.

Sen. Marc Rubio, R-Florida, one of the authors of the immigration legislation, has spoken out against the foundation’s study.

“They are the only group that’s looked at this issue and reached the conclusion they’ve reached,” Rubio told reporters. “Everybody else who has analyzed immigration reform understands that if you do it, and we do it right, it will be a net positive for our economy.”