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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Heritage Immigration Study Author: ‘I Have Not Examined The Whole Bill Yet’ [Video]

RobertRectorRobert Rector, the Heritage Foundation senior research fellow who co-authored the right-wing think tank’s heavily disputed study on immigration reform, admitted Tuesday that he hasn’t actually read the bill in question.

Rector made waves Monday with his report that the Senate “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill would cost taxpayers a minimum of $6.3 trillion. That conclusion was immediately criticized by a wide range of Rector’s fellow conservatives such as Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), and the Cato Institute, which called Rector’s methodology “fatally flawed.”

One of Cato’s chief complaints is that Rector ignored the historical evidence suggesting that immigrants’ wages would increase dramatically after they are legalized. Rector responded to that criticism at a Heritage Foundation event — after admitting that “I have not examined the whole bill yet.”

“One of the effects of immigration is to strongly drive down the wages of American workers…and in particular, what is happening with massive waves of illegal immigrants without a high school degree coming into the U.S., they have driven down the wages of the least skilled American workers,” Rector said.

“I have not examined the whole bill yet. I will, and if the bill looks like any other comprehensive bill that we’ve ever had, what this bill will have is a massive influx of even more unskilled immigrants,” he added.

Video of Rector’s comments is below, via Think Progress:

That Rector didn’t even read the bill that he is doing his best to kill sheds light on a broader problem with the Heritage Foundation under the leadership of former South Carolina senator and Tea Party hero Jim DeMint: by arming the right with either incomplete or completely false information, Heritage is actually undermining their ability to successfully argue against reform. As Matthew Yglesias put it in Slate:

As Republican members of Congress ponder what to do about immigration, having accurate information about its fiscal impact would be very useful to them. You actually want to have a team of people “on your side” who you can trust to do good work. Heritage is not that team.

To avoid making Rector’s mistake, you can read the full text of the Senate bill here.

Photo: The Heritage Foundation

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  • John Pigg

    Of course he hasn’t read the Bill. He is paid by a group that opposes it why would he bother to read it?

    Keep in mind this is the organization that Jim Demint chose to resign from his seat to work for. Why help the country and do your job, if you can get paid more spouting ideological positions.

  • JDavidS

    What’s to read? If it doesn’t contain the words “God”, “guns” or “GOP” we don’t have to “read it”. We already know we’re against it. Besides, if the Tea Clowns or the GOP read anything they might be in danger of “learning” something. Then from there it could expand to “thinking”… can’t have that shit goin’ on in.

  • Catskinner

    How stupid it this? There is no bill to read yet.

  • Allan Richardson

    Conservatives do not see the irony here. After three decades in government and the private sector, creating a system in which the odds against anyone starting out poor or broke even achieving a middle class lifestyle, and even against middle class people KEEPING a middle class lifestyle due to disappearing jobs, and DENYING that the deck is stacked against both Americans and immigrants who are not already wealthy, …

    They now claim the reason for not legalizing illegal immigrants is that they will NOT be able to pull themselves up by the bootstraps the way that conservative myth claims ANYBODY can do!

    So which is it? Do we really have an “opportunity economy” and if so why would it not be so for legalized illegal immigrants? Or do we NOT have opportunity for everyone, in which case why not reverse the policies that have stifled the economy (basically, the people with money do not need to buy things in proportion to their wealth, while the people who need things despite their poverty do not have money with which to buy what someone needs to sell in order to create jobs), and THEN we will not have to worry about immigrants (or for that matter, citizens) becoming a “welfare burden” in the future, and there will be no reason NOT to pass the reforms.

    With or without immigration, we need to get back to Keynes or we will assuredly go back to Dickens (Please, Sir, may have some more gruel?).

  • docb

    More lies from the kockedup Bros propaganda machine… Here are some of the amendments offered by the repub baggers:

  • howa4x

    This is typical of the tealiban. They make outlandish statements and make that the starting point for discussion. No one ever confused the DeMint as an intellectual giant, so he is dumbing down the foundation quickly