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Update: During an interview that a Heritage spokesperson gave on Hispanic radio, it’s unclear whether Richwine would be fired. The spokesperson defended the report, claiming that the controversial parts might have been “taken out of context.”
Jim DeMint’s Heritage Foundation just hasn’t had a very good week.
Four days ago, the conservative think tank released their much-heralded study on the economics of immigration, which was supposed to be “their big play in the immigration debate,” and “a coming out party of sorts for Jim DeMint,” according to a story in Politico. But in quick succession, the report has been slammed by everyone from Marco Rubio to Paul Ryan, one of its co-authors (Jason Richwine) turned out to be a documented white supremacist who once wrote about “whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites,” and the Foundation was forced to put out a statement dissociating itself from Richwine.
Heritage is now considering the significant step of hiring a PR firm to help it deal with the fallout of what was supposed to be its banner report; and the Center for Community Change is now calling on the just-installed DeMint to resign.
As Kica Matos, director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice at the Center for Community Change, said in a statement today:
No one should be surprised by the results of the Heritage Foundation’s “economic study” about the cost of immigration reform. After all, its president, Jim DeMint, is someone who has a history of unabashed opposition to immigration reform. And the Foundation has been an outspoken opponent of any type of legislation that would provide a path to citizenship to the 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country. This toxic combination led to the release of a report that has been widely criticized for its intellectual dishonesty and blatant racism.