The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which, as People for the American Way remind us, “has white nationalist roots and a long history of troubling statements and positions,” has presented its “extreme anti-immigrant proposals” to Donald Trump. Under these proposals, even legal immigration would be drastically reduced.
PFAW’s Director of Latinos Vote! Lizet Ocampo issued this statement in response:
“FAIR’s newly laid-out immigration priorities are directly from the xenophobic, far-right movement, ranging from severely limiting legal immigration to getting rid of the Constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship. This shouldn’t be surprising from a group with significant ties to white nationalists.
“But what makes this effort different, this year, is that the President-Elect and his administration will rely on FAIR to drive their policies. Trump’s transition adviser on immigration, Kris Kobach, serves as counsel to FAIR’s legal arm. Trump’s Attorney General pick, Jeff Sessions, frequently attends and even speaks at FAIR events. Trump is sure to try to implement some of the worst immigration policies we’ve seen; it’s critical that Republicans and Democrats alike stand up against Trump and his team’s anti-immigrant policies that go against our core national values.”
FAIR’s report, “Immigration Priorities for the 2017 Presidential Transition,” blames pretty much all our societal ills on immigration, claiming,
Illegal immigration and unchecked legal immigration are detrimental to the quality of life in the United States. The American family is increasingly bearing the costs of urban sprawl, environmental degradation, traffic congestion, increased crime, overburdened health care, overwhelmed public schools and debt-ridden state and municipal governments — all results of uncontrolled immigration.
Awful as these claims are, there is worse to be found in the study: According to PFAW’s Miranda Blue,
FAIR’s proposal starts out by citing a flawed Heritage Foundation study on the fiscal costs of immigration, which was co-written by a man who had promoted crackpot theories about racial difference in intelligence. It goes on to lament the “social, cultural and political costs” as “we receive immigrants in numbers too large to be successfully incorporated into our way of life and assimilated into our communities.”
In 2013, The Washington Post‘s Dylan Matthews outed the the crack-pot in question, Jason Richwine, who in his 2009 Harvard Ph.D. dissertation argued that immigrants have a lower IQ “than that of the white native population.”
According to the dissertation’s abstract:
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.
This puts Jason Richwine on a par with Steve Bannon, who also believes in the genetic superiority of the white race.
It is interesting to note that while Heritage responded to the Post by claiming, “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,” FAIR is now, three years later, citing it in its own report.
Clearly, the Republican Party can’t get any attack started without debunked studies, even studies their own organizations want nothing to do with.
This is unlikely to be a problem for the fact-free Trump administration-to-be, however, as the president-elect surrounds himself with not only white supremacists, but people uniquely unqualified to do the jobs for which they have been selected.