Heritage immigration study author wrote for ‘nationalist’ Web site

One of the authors of the controversial Heritage Foundation report on the costs of the Senate's immigration reform bill wrote two articles in 2010 for a self-described "nationalist" Web site.

The founder of the Web site notes that the articles were written early in the site's history -- long before many of its more controversial writings.

Yahoo's Chris Moody has the story:

Heritage Foundation Analyst Jason Richwine, the co-author of a study claiming the immigration reform bill pending in the Senate would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion, wrote two articles in 2010 for a website founded by Richard Spencer, a self-described "nationalist" who writes frequently about race and against "the abstract notion of human equality."

Richwine's two stories for Spencer's website, AlternativeRight.com, dealt with crime rates among Hispanics in the United States. AlternativeRight.com describes itself as "dedicated to heretical perspectives on society and culture—popular, high, and otherwise—particularly those informed by radical, traditionalist, and nationalist outlooks."

Richwine's articles on AlternativeRight.com were posted within the first few weeks of the site's launch and were the last he wrote for the site.

The website has published several controversial pieces about nationalism and race since Spencer founded it 3 years ago. Spencer is now the chairman of the Montana-based National Policy Institute, an organization that describes itself as a think tank for "White Americans."

Richwine's articles for AlternativeRight.com, "Model Minority," published on March 3, 2010, and "More on Hispanics and Crime," published the next day, push back on an American Conservative essay that argued that some conservatives have over-hyped the crime rate among Hispanics. (Richwine's article was cross-posted on the website of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. where Richwine was previously a fellow.)

"A proper analysis of the data indicates that Hispanics have a substantially higher crime rate than whites," Richwine wrote in the first piece, which he backed up with federal prison data showing the incarceration rates of whites and Hispanics.

...

Spencer pointed out that Richwine's article was one of the first published for the site when it launched three years ago, before some of the publication's more controversial articles were written.

"That was very early on in AltRight, and maybe we became a little too out there," Spencer said. "He does more mainstream stuff, so whether he supports other things that have been published in AltRight, I don't know the answer to that."

Posts on the AlternativeRight.com Web site include numerous racial slurs as well as discussions of whether immigration is destroying the European Union and whether secession would solve immigration problems.

The Post's Dylan Mathews on Wednesday reported that Richwine's 2009 Harvard University dissertation discussed the low IQ of immigrants to the United States and suggested the immigrants with higher IQs should be selected.

A Heritage spokesman later distanced the foundation from Richwine's dissertation.

Numerous conservative groups and Republican leaders have publicly denounced Richwine's immigration study this week as a ham-handed study on the effects of the immigration bill.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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