In June 2013, the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill that would soon pass the Senate with 68 votes. The CBO, Congress’ official scorekeeper, found that the bill would cut the federal deficit by $175 billion over 10 years while giving millions of undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. Ian M. Smith, an emerging anti-immigrant activist, saw things differently. In a column for the conservative outlet PJ Media, Smith wrote that the CBO had overlooked a key piece of information: the cost of providing Obamacare to Mexican immigrants who are overweight. He suggested that the obesity rate in Mexico, which in reality was comparable to that of the United States, stemmed from Mexicans’ genes and was unlikely to decrease. The CBO, he argued, failed to account for this phenomenon in making its cost projections, and so“the best preventative solution might be to kill the amnesty bill.” In October, Smith moved from the nativist Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) to the Department of Homeland Security, where he worked on immigration policy. He was hired despite a long record of writing columns that portray immigration as an existential threat to the United States and… Read full this story
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