The Heritage Foundation has released the following statement:

Our vision at The Heritage Foundation is to build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society flourish. We believe that every person is created equal and that everyone should have equal opportunity to reach the ladder of success and climb as high as they can dream.

On Monday, The Heritage Foundation released its long-awaited study on the costs of amnesty to U.S. taxpayers. That study found that amnesty for unlawful immigrants would cost $6.3 trillion. The methodology was developed by the study’s lead researcher and author Robert Rector, one of the nation’s foremost experts on welfare reform. Rector’s methodology uses an approach developed by the National Academy of Sciences and is an update of his research on the same subject from 2007.

We welcome a rigorous, fact-based debate on the data, methodology, and conclusions of the Heritage study on the cost of amnesty. Instead, some have pointed to a Harvard dissertation written by Dr. Jason Richwine. Dr. Richwine did not shape the methodology or the policy recommendations in the Heritage paper; he provided quantitative support to lead author Robert Rector. The dissertation was written while Dr. Richwine was a student at Harvard, supervised and approved by a committee of respected scholars.

The Harvard paper is not a work product of The Heritage Foundation. Its findings do not reflect the positions of The Heritage Foundation or the conclusions of our study on the cost of amnesty to U.S. taxpayers, as race and ethnicity are not part of Heritage immigration policy recommendations.

Immigration reform is a critical discussion for the future of our nation, and it should focus on what is in the best interest of all Americans and those who aspire to be Americans.

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