Bloggings on Immigration Law

by Roger Algase

Bloggings: Heritage Foundation Bigot Shows the True Face of the Anti-immigrant Movement. But This Does Not Stop GOP Extremists From Trying to Kill CIR. Have They No Shame? By Roger Algase

Even before the Heritage Foundation's one-sided "study" claiming that legalization would cost the US $6.3 trillion was released earlier this week, it was clear from its earlier, 2007 study making a similar claim, only with a lower cost figure, that Heritage has no interest in genuine economic analysis. Its only objective is to accomplish a political goal, namely making America more white and less Latino.

On the same day (May 6) that the latest Heritage anti-immigrant propaganda piece (why dignify it by calling it a "study"?) was released, my ID comment warned that the so-called "economic" arguments against legalization are mainly racial ones, underneath a thin veneer of numbers and statistics.

This warning has now been borne out by the Washington Post's revelation on May 8 that one of the co-authors of the Heritage "report". Jason Richwine, wrote the following comment in his Harvard PhD dissertation in 2009 (as quoted in the WP: Heritage study co-author opposed letting in immigrants with low IQ's):

"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 with."

One has to ask how Harvard could possibly have awarded anyone a PhD based on a dissertation containing such vile racism.

(Perhaps this is not so surprising in view of the fact that one the best known professors at this same university, the late Samuel Huntington, published an anti-immigrant tract called Who Are We which contained only slightly less offensive anti-Latino racial slurs only a few years earlier.)

However Richwine's abominable implication in his above comment that Latinos are genetically inferior to whites recalls another widely condemned work of pseudo-scholarship, this one from the 1990's. I refer to the notorious bookThe Bell Curve, by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, which argued that African-Americans allegedly have lower IQ's than whites because they are also supposedly genetically inferior.

This kind of racist thinking has no place in America's immigration discussion. But the sad fact is that racial stereotyping, especially, but by now means only, against Latinos, is at the very heart of the debate over CIR.

More than that, it is infecting many provisions, if not the entire structure of the Senate CIR bill itself. The overemphasis (and huge waste of money at the instigation of Republican Congressional "budget-cutters" and "sequestrators") on border security and internal "enforcement" as the price of legalization, the elimination of the Africa-friendly Diversity Visa lottery, the cutting back on family green cards used by many Latin American immigrants, the interminable wait for green cards and US citizenship on the part of legalized immigrants, and even, arguably, gutting the H-1B Asian-friendly H-1B program by turning it into a virtual labor certification one, are all expressions of racism, or are at least heavily influenced by it.

The best that can be said about the latest Heritage "study" and its co-authorship by some one who is responsible for the unabashed bigotry in his PhD dissertation, is that it lays bare the real nature of the anti-immigrant movement and its opposition to immigration reform.

One would think that Congressional CIR opponents would at least pause in their attempts to kill CIR. But there is little chance of this: Politico reports in a May 8 article: GOP sharpens knives for immigration as follows:

"The almost 200 amendments filed by Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans lay bare their strategy on immigration reform. They want to gut the bill."

As Senator Joseph McCarthy was famously asked six decades ago at a hearing in another Senate committee on a different topic, have today's immigration opponents no shame? 

About The Author

Roger Algase is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business immigration law in New York City for more than 20 years.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.