Jason Richwine, a co-author of the Heritage Foundation’s report on a new immigration bill, has resigned amid controversy over claims he made about immigrants having low IQs.
“Jason Richwine let us know he’s decided to resign from his position,” Heritage told Slate’s Dave Weigel in an email. “He’s no longer employed by Heritage.”
“It is our longstanding policy not to discuss internal personnel matters,” the statement adds.
Richwine was one of two authors of a report released Monday that said immigration legislation pending in the Senate would cost $6.3 trillion over 50 years as immigrants consumed federal benefits without making up for it in taxes.
However, though the study prompted discussion on both the left and the right, an enormous amount of attention focused on Richwine’s 2009 Ph.D. dissertation from Harvard University in which he asserted that immigrants have lower IQs than the “white native population.”
“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 dissertation reads.
An underclass, it continued, is “a socially isolated group of people for whom crime, welfare, labor force dropout, and illegitimacy are normal aspects of life,” adding that the data shows that “Hispanic immigrants come [to the U.S.] to work, but their children’s labor force participation slips considerably.”
“Superior performance on basic economic indicators is to be expected from later generations, who go to American schools, learn English, and become better acquainted with the culture,” it adds. “Despite built-in advantages, too many Hispanic natives are not adhering to standards of behavior that separate middle and working class neighborhoods from the barrio.”
“There can be little dispute that post 1965-immigration has brought a larger and increasingly visible Hispanic underclass to the United States, yet the underlying reasons for its existence cannot be understood without considering IQ,” is reads.
Heritage moved quickly to distance itself from Richwine’s work.
“The Harvard paper is not a work product of The Heritage Foundation. Its findings do not reflect the positions of The Heritage Foundation or the conclusions of our study on the cost of amnesty to U.S. taxpayers, as race and ethnicity are not part of Heritage immigration policy recommendations,” Heritage spokesman Mike Gonzalez said in a statement.
As of this writing, it’s still unclear whether Heritage was aware of Richwine’s dissertation before they took him on as an analyst.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report. Featured image The Heritage Foundation.