Co-Author of New Immigration Study Says Latinos Not as Intelligent
Jason Richwine, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, is attracting attention because of a recently released anti-immigration study that is garnering criticism from fellow conservatives, including U.S. Rep. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and anti-tax warrior Grover Norquist. The study, co-authored with Heritage fellow Robert Rector, is a reprise of Rector’s 2007 report (which was also criticized) for the foundation. Both studies claim immigration reform will cost the U.S. trillions of dollars, and both were hotly disputed.
The conservative criticism of the new study charges that it ignores immigrants’ upward mobility and suggests that they will always be poor. But in addition to that, a great deal of criticism from other quarters is now focusing personally on Richwine and what he has said over the years about immigrants, race and intelligence.
As the Washington Post notes, Richwine’s 2009 doctoral dissertation at Harvard makes the claim that there are deep differences in intelligence between races, and that there may be a genetic component to those differences, which, he argues, are persistent over time. He wrote that, “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.” What does that mean with regard to immigration into the U.S.? Richwine argues for simply testing the IQ of those who want to immigrate, excluding those with lower scores.
That wasn’t the first time he’s made statements like that. Five years ago, Hatewatch noted that when Richwine was a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) earlier in 2008, he also compared the intelligence of earlier, mainly white settlers favorably to later, mostly Latino ones. “The argument that immigrants themselves are no different from the ones that came 100 years ago I think is quite wrong,” Richwine said in a discussion at AEI that aired on C-SPAN, “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.”