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An immigration restrictionist chart at Mint.com

UPDATE: Mint.com has responded and apologized for running this infographic. The statement is below the fold.

There's some low-level chatter and anger today focused at Mint.com, a popular personal finance website (disclosure: I use its iPhone app) which has published an infographic on "The Economic Impact of Immigration." Nothing overly political about it on the surface, but check out the sources -- in addition to Pew, the site credits the restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies and VDare.com for data. VDare, in particular, is best known for publishing work by white nationalists while maintaining that it is not a white nationalist site. (A current headline: "Diversity Is Strength! It’s Also…US-Educated Terrorists.")

Here's part of the infographic that's currently spurring some angry comments at Mint via Twitter:

mintgraphic

One problem: Because the citations are lumped at the bottom, not graph-for-graph, it's unclear which numbers are real and which have been circulated in flawed anti-immigration e-mails and web sites. I've asked the company about this and will post a response if/when I get it. For now, it says plenty about how immigration restrictionists, who crank out lots of data, dominate web searches on the topic.

UPDATE: The web site has apologized and will remove the graphic. Here is the statement from Lee Sherman, editor of MintLife.

At MintLife, our mission is to give users and visitors the financial information they need to save and do more with their money. Topics range from personal finance advice, to analysis of macroeconomic trends and the fiscal impacts of news of the day. We publish content from a variety of contributors and sources, and the opinions expressed don’t necessarily reflect those of Mint.com or of Intuit. It’s true that the tone is often provocative, seeking to engage readers in dialogue around important topics, but the recent blog post “The Economic Impact of Immigration” went too far, cited polarized sources and did not receive the editorial judgment and oversight it deserved. We regret it. It is completely unacceptable and won’t happen again. Our intention was not to further the agenda of any of the sources from which data was pulled, and the post has been removed.

By David Weigel  |  June 18, 2010; 1:01 PM ET
Categories:  Immigration  
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