The Heritage Foundation is distancing itself from one of the co-authors of their recently released immigration study for positions he took that have been called "racist" and "xenophobic."
Jason Richwine, Heritage Foundation's senior policy advisor, is drawing criticism for a his 2009 dissertation in which he supported the idea that Hispanics have a genetic deficiency that prevents them from reaching the same IQ levels as native-born Caucasians.
Richwine, who received his doctorate in public policy from Harvard in 2009, wrote his dissertation titled, "IQ and Immigration Policy," in which he argues that it is unlikely that Hispanics will ever be able to attain the same level of cognitive capacity as whites.
"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. The consequences are a lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low-IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust, and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market," Richwine wrote in his abstract.
"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," he added.
Richwine's critics argue that IQ cannot be determined by race or ethnicity, but rather variance of intelligence is due to any number of factors including social and economic factors as well as access to quality educational services. They also contend that defining what constitutes intelligence is difficult due to wide-ranging cultural and historical determinants.
Soon after news of Richwine's previous work became public, the Heritage Foundation released a statement distancing themselves from Richwine's previous work, but not their immigration study, in which they stated that providing citizenship for the current illegal population would be a financially unwise decision.
"This is not a work product of The Heritage Foundation. Its findings in no way reflect the positions of The Heritage Foundation," Mike Gonzalez, Heritage's Vice President of Communications, told BuzzFeed. "Nor do the findings affect the conclusions of our study on the cost of amnesty to the U.S. taxpayer."
Leading Hispanic advocates, including Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Rubén Hinojosa, denounced Richwine's comments describing his them as "ugly racism" and not useful to the current immigration debate.
"Jason Richwine's comments and general world view are a mark against the conservative community and against all fruitful discussions that would lead to comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform," Hinojosa said in a statement.
"In fact, immigrants are twice as likely to start a small business as native-born Americans and countless studies have shown the benefits of immigration on the economy," he added.