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Heritage Foundation Distances Itself From Comments On Hispanic IQ

The conservative group's immigration expert, Jason Richwine, wrote in 2009 that immigrants have lower IQs than "white native" Americans. Heritage says that's not their view. Another bad news cycle for immigration opponents.

Posted on May 8, 2013, at 1:43 p.m. ET

Rainier Ehrhardt / AP

WASHINGTON — The Heritage Foundation was already on the defensive about its new study, which found immigration reform will cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion. Now the foundation is running from the racially-charged past work of one of the study's authors.

On Monday, the Washington Post reported Heritage scholar Jason Richwine — one of the men behind the $6.3 trillion number some conservatives are using to argue that an immigration overhaul would be too expensive — wrote in his 2009 dissertation that immigration should be predicated on an applicant's IQ score and that "the average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations."

Later in the dissertation, Richwine wrote that those differences in IQ are partially due to race. "The totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ," he wrote.

"No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites," he adds, "But the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against."

Heritage tried to get away from Richwine's 2009 writing Wednesday while still standing by his Heritage scholarship.

"This is not a work product of The Heritage Foundation. Its findings in no way reflect the positions of The Heritage Foundation," Heritage VP of Communications Mike Gonzalez told BuzzFeed in a statement. "Nor do the findings affect the conclusions of our study on the cost of amnesty to the U.S. taxpayer."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.