All In   |  May 10, 2013

Should the Heritage Foundation fire president Jim DeMint?

Chris Hayes tackles this question with Deepak Bhargava, the executive director of the Center for Community Change, a non-profit policy organization, and Shikha Dalmia, senior analyst at Reason magazine.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> right now i want to bring in from washington, d.c. the director for change. he is leading the charge to have jim demint fired from the heritage foundation . and joining me, shika, analyzer. shika, i want to start with you because you're someone broadly in the middle of the coalition and watching this civil war , if that's the word, unfold between different aspects of the collision over reform is simply a policy and immigration more broadly as a kind of touchstone issue. so i'm curious what your reaction is to the news tonight that jason ridgewine has parted ways with heritage .

>> my feelings on immigration is we should let everybody in as long as they don't pose a criminal or health threat. i think the heritage foundation has thrown jason ridgewine under the bus, as you mentioned, because he didn't do anything wrong over here as far as they are concerned. he was not cagey about his work. the title of his dissertation is immigration in i.q. he was an american enterprise institute before he was at heritage where he had been involved in panel discussions where he had very articulately said what his views were, and he had written for various web sites despite his position on immigration and i.q., and he was at heritage , i imagine, because of his expertise on this issue. i don't understand what he has done. i think views are so transparent at heritage .

>> there are plenty of women phds in america . i guess this guy has an infamous bell curve so he has a dubious parentage.

>> charles murray tweeted today, thank goodness i was at aei when i wrote the bell curve , and then talking about how brave they were to publish it. so continue.

>> the issue wasn't that he was fired, the issue was that he was hired knowingly by heritage with these views out of the main mainstream by the pillar of conservatism of america . this wasn't just some obscure study off to the side, this was jim demint 's coming out party with the new muscular heritage . so for them to have done this and then resisted and waited days and days, and with the cover of darkness without fully owning up to the republic rehensible points of view.

>> i've done a lot of reporting on this issue and i'm going to play devil's advocate on behalf of what they call themselves our immigration restrictionists. immigration restrictionists say you liberals, you always try to caricature us as liberalists. they're sons of african-americans, this is not about race, and you want to jump at any opportunity you get to try to paint us as racists because you refuse to talk about the whereal issues. what do you say about that, tupac?

>> let me be clear it is impossible to have a view on this immigration bill or other immigration bills and not be a racist in america . it is absolutely impossible. it is also true there is a deep vein of racial anamis that have been on the side of the passions for decades that is kind of at the fringes of the discourse that you see at town hall meetings , letter to the editors, talk radio . in a way what this has illustrated is how deep that vein goes. it's not everybody who opposes em gra immigration , but a big driver in this debate has been animosity. it really pans out to the conservative american.

>> as part of this kind of intr intra-center right. who is winning this fight and what do they say about the viability intellectually within the conservative movement of the restrictionist case?

>> going back to your first question, it is true that it is possible to make a non-racist restrictionist case. not all restrictionists are racist, but too many racists are restrictionists, and i think that's where the problem is over here. from my point of view, i had huge problems with the heritage study. this was, by the way, not a new study, this was an updated version of an old 2007 study, and its methodology has always been, you know, highly disputed. one of the things that they don't do is dynamic scoring, which means they count the tax burden off immigrants but they don't count productive methodology. they count it as american-born children of hispanics as costs but then they don't factor into the taxes they're going to contribute when they grow up. and i think in my view, this is a fortuitous side effect of this whole controversy, so i'm more hopeful we'll get a better, you know, bill, because we don't have to be distracted by the study anymore.

>> tupac, do you hold out any hope of a meeting with her titage to talk this all over?

>> they've chosen to go into a bunker. the heritage act of 2007 played a major role in bringing down immigration reform . they embraced the arguments, the data. this time the republican establishment has run away from the report as fast as possible.

>> thank you very much. that is all for this evening. the rachel mad dow show