Immigration IQ Test Advocate Joins Commerce
Last month, Science reported that Jason Richwine — a public policy analyst known for his controversial doctoral thesis advocating for IQ-based immigration restrictions — was appointed to a high-level position at the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. In 2013, Richwine worked at the Heritage Foundation, where he co-authored a highly criticized study that claimed it would cost trillions to implement immigration reform, and left the organization after news broke about the topic of his dissertation. More recently, he’s been working with the Center for Immigration Studies, an extreme anti-immigrant group. We filed a FOIA request to NIST for all records concerning Richwine’s reported hiring.
Trump Appointees ‘Burrowing In’ Ahead of Presidential Transition
According to recent news reporting, at least a dozen Trump political appointees have been approved to work in new civil service positions, a move known as “burrowing in” — when political appointees convert to career positions, potentially with intentions to impede the agenda of the upcoming administration. As part of our investigation into the potential burrowing in of Trump’s political appointees, last week we filed FOIA requests with multiple agencies for records (including resumes and ethics documents) related to the hiring process of specific Trump appointees at the Departments of Defense and Justice.
Exclusion of Undocumented Immigrants from Congressional Apportionment
On Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s bid to exclude undocumented immigrants from the decennial reapportionment. It’s the administration’s latest attempt to interfere in the 2020 census, following weeks of legal battles over whether the administration could end the count early. We sent FOIA requests to Commerce and the Census Bureau for communications concerning the counting of immigrants, as well as for any directives sent from the Census Bureau headquarters to regional field offices.
Pennsylvania County’s Election Certification
Last week, the board of elections in Luzerne County, Pa., voted to certify election results, but was split along partisan lines. Republican board members opposed the certification, despite the fact that Trump won the county by 14 points, and at least one of the Republican members reportedly called for a paper ballot recount. We sent a records request to Luzerne County for board members’ related email communications.
Medicaid Block Grant Funding in Oklahoma
In January, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services introduced a new option for states to receive federal funding for Medicaid in the form of block grants. In April, Oklahoma became the first state to submit an application requesting block grant funding, but subsequently withdrew the request without explanation. We filed records requests with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the governor’s office for records regarding the state’s waiver application as well as for any related assessments or analyses.
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