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Letters of the Week: May 6 - May 10

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  1. Brandon Meyer's Avatar
    Talk about bad timing! Minutes after ILW has published our article on the self-defeating nature of the State of California's policies regarding Targeted Employment Areas ("TEAs"), the State of California announced changes to their TEA policies, effective May 1, 2013, that largely eliminate the restrictive elements of the policies we so strongly criticize.

    The State of California should be commended for taking a serious look at its May 2012 policy changes and having the courage to change course in a positive direction. Now, if only USCIS had the same level courage on the EB-5 side, the world might be a better place.

    This being EB-5, where participants like to brag and infer that they have levels of knowledge, power, influence, etc, that they really don't have, we would like to claim that our short article had an impact in convincing the State of California to change its policies. Unfortunately, the timing is sheer coincidence and we will claim no such powers.

    Brandon Meyer and Jennielyn Alcarion
    Meyer Law Group
  2. Josh Dorner 's Avatar
    I think these shockingly racist views should be enough to permanently set aside this fatally flawed analsysis.

    Also, the other co-author, Robert Rector, was proud to take credit for being the intellectual force behind Mitt Romney's notorious race-baiting welfare ads last year:

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/mitt-romney-welfare-obama-robert-rector


    http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2013/05/08/1978961/heritage-study-author-hispanic-immigrants-will-have-low-iq-children/

    Heritage Study Author: 'Hispanic Immigrants Will Have Low-IQ Children'

    The Heritage Foundation's analysis of the economic consequences of immigration reform uses absurd methodology (http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2013/05/06/1971531/heritages-fatally-flawed-study-doubles-down-on-romneys-47-percent/) to come to conclusions entirely at odds with the organization's own findings in 2006 (http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2013/05/06/1970061/heritage-vs-heritage-major-immigration-report-released-today-directly-contradicts-its-2006-study/). Perhaps one explanation for this incoherence is that one of the paper's coauthors, a new hire, opposes Hispanic immigration because he thinks Latinos are stupid.
    Jason Richwine joined (http://www.heritage.org/about/staff/r/jason-richwine) Heritage in 2010, after finishing his PhD in Public Policy in 2009. The Washington Post's Dylan Matthews dug up Richwine's dissertation (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/08/heritage-study-co-author-opposed-letting-in-immigrants-with-low-iqs/), which was titled "IQ And Immigration." In it, Richwine argues that Hispanics have and will always have lower IQs than whites. Matthews summarizes (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/08/heritage-study-co-author-opposed-letting-in-immigrants-with-low-iqs/):

    Richwine's dissertation asserts that there are deep-set differentials in intelligence between races. While it's clear he thinks it is partly due to genetics -- 'the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ' -- he argues the most important thing is that the differences in group IQs are persistent, for whatever reason. He writes, '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.'

    Richwine concludes from this that American immigration policy should encourage high IQ individuals to immigrate, but limit low IQ immigration: as he puts it, "I believe there is a strong case for IQ selection, since it is theoretically a win-win for the U.S. and potential immigrants." Since this eugenic language is politically toxic, Richwine advocates dressing it up in the language of "high skill" and "low skill" immigration. As Matthews details (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/08/heritage-study-co-author-opposed-letting-in-immigrants-with-low-iqs/), the Heritage report does exactly that.
    The study of race and intelligence has long been a problematic area for conservatives. In 1994, conservative pundit Charles Murray wrote a book called The Bell Curve, whose argument that blacks are on-average less intelligent than whites kicked off a critical firestorm (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/media/news/2012/02/09/11159/think-again-charles-murray-and-the-power-of-mainstream-media-amnesia/). Conservatives since have generally defended Murray (who currently works at the American Enterprise Institute), occasionally citing him (http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/04/06/459961/derbyshire-avoid-concentrations-of-blacks/) to get to some unsavory conclusions. The most recent, sophisticated data does not support (http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/04/levitt-and-fryer-on-race-and-iq.html) the idea that there is a persistent racial IQ gap.
    Richwine is not the only author of the Heritage report with questionable views. Robert Rector, the paper's lead author, was the source (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/mitt-romney-welfare-obama-robert-rector) for then candidate Romney's racially charged attack on President Obama's welfare policy (http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/08/07/649621/romney-ad-welfare-reform/), and has spent his career dismissing the idea that poverty hurts people. On Tuesday, Rector admitted he hadn't read the whole immigration bill (http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2013/05/07/1974561/author-of-heritage-immigration-study-admits-he-has-not-examined-the-whole-bill/) before co-authoring his analysis of it with Richwine.
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