Here is what Rodriguez told The Brody File when asked why evangelicals would embrace an immigration bill that may end up having a huge price tag like the Heritage Foundation points out.
"As Christians and as Americans, we stand committed to an immigration solution that does not exacerbate the current debt crisis. Quite the contrary. Our objective is to unleash both the productive capacity and additional revenue stream embedded in a community that already contributes to both the spiritual and economic health of our nation. Accordingly and with great due deference to the Heritage Foundation, we believe the methodology engaged in this study can best be deemed as flawed.
In addition, the recent revelations stemming from the dissertation of one of the study authors places in question the guiding optics and possible bias directed towards the immigrant community. Heritage does fine work on many areas. On this matter however, the foundation's conclusion contradicts the findings from an overwhelming amount of studies substantiating the value added benefits of comprehensive immigration reform. Immigrants are some of the hardest working people in America who stand poised to enrich our economy in a significant manner. "
Rodriguez is referring to Jason Richwine, a “senior policy analyst” at Heritage who authored part of the report. When he earned his Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University in 2009, his dissertation was titled, “IQ and Immigration Policy” and concluded that, “The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations.” More here. Of course the Heritage Foundation says the report isn't bias at all and Richwine's Harvard dissertation has nothing to do with the Heritage report.
Putting aside for the moment of a “possible bias” angle, this whole immigration debate is an interesting one for evangelicals to consider. You have the biblical command for compassion on the one hand and the immorality of huge debt on the other. Evangelicals are going to need to be engaged thoroughly on this issue and work through it as they explore all the facts.