The Republican National Committee's Director of Hispanic Outreach for Florida, Pablo Pantoja, has quit his post and registered as a Democrat. In his letter of resignation he cited the recent anti-immigrant study by the Heritage Foundation and the general “culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today”. The study itself has been making headlines because language it contains is eerily similar to one of its authors' college dissertations that concluded, “no one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites”.
The entire study is predicated on the idea that allowing our current immigrant population to become citizens would create an unsustainable burden on current taxpayers. To the contrary, Texas' own Republican Comptroller found, undocumented immigrants are an actual net positive on the economy — and we have the nation's 2nd largest immigrant population! Her offices study concluded in 2006 that, “The absence of the estimated 1.4 million undocumented immigrants in Texas in fiscal 2005 would have been a loss to our gross state product of $17.7 billion.”
At this point the Heritage Foundation has distanced itself from the study's controversial author, who has now “resigned”, but the damage is done. Right-wing commentators on every form of media have used the cynical study to hide their anti-immigrant bias behind the veil of fiscal responsibility. What it is really about for immigrants is the opportunity to fully express their basic human rights, the freedom to own a home, raise a family or start a business, and now what should be a more important concern for Republicans – the right to vote.