Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Think Tank That Will Block Immigration?

Politico has just labeled former Sen. Jim Demint (R-SC) and The Heritage Foundation as one of five players who could stop immigration reform.  Says Politico:
This is the kind of policy fight for which Jim DeMint was hired.
The former South Carolina GOP senator and tea party hero took over last month as president of the 40-year-old conservative think tank, and got straight to work. He has blasted the Gang of Eight’s proposal as “amnesty,” criticized negotiators for drafting the bill in secret and is trying to highlight the bill’s potential costs if millions of undocumented immigrants are made eligible for federal benefits.

If DeMint and Heritage — with its policy analyses and feisty advocacy arm — can help keep the right unified on immigration, it could force Democrats and the White House to accept amendments they don’t like in order to get something through — or simply kill the bill.
Heritage has been here before. The group helped sink previous immigration efforts by focusing on costs. Senior research fellow Robert Rector released a study in 2007 saying that immigration legislation could cost taxpayers $2.6 trillion.
Monday, Heritage said immigration reform could cost $6.3 trillion on new spending on entitlements and social programs.
But Heritage is getting pushback from conservatives and economists on both sides who say that adding millions of new taxpayers and streamlining the legal immigration process will spur growth and benefit the economy.

The Cato Institute has been highly critical of the Heritage Foundation report, which says that the Senate immigration overhaul bill would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion over 50 years.  Here is what AEI has to say.

The Heritage Foundation was recently ranked as the 18th best think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.  It was rated the 9th best think tank in the US.  It was also ranked as the world's best think tank in terms of use of the Internet and social media.