Check Your Sources: The Heritage Paper

immigrationIt seems that as humans, it is hard-wired into our genetics to be territorial, to lay claim to places, property, and even beliefs, and to hold them guardedly. Sometimes this is with good reason, while other times it is not. The ongoing situation of immigration in America could rightfully fit into such subjects.

On one side, there are those who tout legalization of current illegal immigrants, as well as sweeping immigration reform as the ultimate answers to this monumental dilemma. The theory here is that costs will be lower to legalize illegal immigrants. In addition, the possibility of massive increases in American production are said to be great; this due to a large group of people no longer confined to existing in the shadows.

On the polar-opposite side of this debate lies the school of thought that sees legalization as the ultimate mistake. The “thinkers” on this side theorize that natural-born American citizens will have to do without and share what’s theirs even more so as to accommodate a population boom, should legalization take place. It is thought that government benefits, public welfare, and all other like programs will become overstretched and thus lead to some sort of system-wide collapse or pandemonium.

Such is the apparent stance of the Heritage Foundation. Headed by former senator and outspoken legalization opponent Jim DeMint, the Heritage Foundation has recently released a strong line of propaganda, mainly in the form of one internally backed, and quite precarious “study.” In this supposed study, “The Heritage Paper”, conclusions are drawn stating that illegal immigrants cost the U.S. $5.3 trillion less than an equivalent population of legalized citizens. And as cited at The Washington Post, this flawed report further claims that this group of legalized immigrants would ultimately cost the U.S. $6.3 million more in benefit receipt than what they would pay into taxes.

Flawed Study Draws Opposition

Subsequently and quite appropriately, this agenda-based “hack” at legalization has caused a great number of eyes to roll. Respected politicians and experts on both sides of political party lines have sluffed-off this faux study in numbers. According to the Politico article on the subject, the release of this report by the Heritage Foundation had high-profile figures such as Paul Ryan and Haley Barbour immediately thereafter renouncing its accuracy and basis in fact. These and many other prominent figures stepped in to say that this study was flawed because of its ignoring of several key factors that must be considered in accurately theorizing the effects of legalization.

The lesson of this story is fairly simple to discern. If you have an agenda, that’s fine. But don’t get caught offering substance-less “studies” in order to support that opinion. This only goes to refute your reputability in the end.