About that civil right of all humans to immigrate to the US...

Discussion in 'Immigration/Illegal Immigration' started by cnelsen, Feb 1, 2017.

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  1. cnelsen
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    cnelsen BANNED

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    We’ve heard endless denunciations of the Trump administration’s initial minor adjustments to immigration and refugee policy as violating the sacred civil right of foreigners to relocate to America without Americans, you racists, having the slightest say in who and how many immigrants are let in.

    Apparently, Extended Stay America is who we are.

    For example, consider Trump’s announced intention to look more favorably upon Middle Eastern Christian refugees fleeing ISIS and to look more skeptically upon citizens of seven countries that the Obama administration had put on its list of terrorism-prone places. This has been screechingly vilified as a “religious test” that violates the First Amendment’s ban on Congress making laws respecting an establishment of religion.

    Being prudent about terrorism, we are repeatedly informed, constitutes disparate impact discrimination against Muslims. The fact that terrorism is largely a Muslim phenomenon in recent decades means that the U.S. can’t do anything to limit immigration from terror-exporting countries because they tend to be predominantly Islamic.

    The conventional wisdom on immigration is rapidly hardening into an ideology of extremist open-borders lunacy, with the Statue of Liberty obsessively invoked to prove that America was founded upon the principle of Muslim mass migration.

    Evidently, the arc of the moral universe bends toward submission.

    Like most Americans, however, I have had up-close exposure to the workings of immigration. So let me recount for you some old family gossip that reminds me of facts unwelcome in the news at the moment.

    Blond Russian girlfriends were an exotic innovation in American life when my lonely widower father-in-law brought one back from a trip to Leningrad in 1991 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

    Alina soon made herself at home on his farm in Illinois. It turns out, however, that there actually are laws against random people from around the world moving permanently to America without the government’s permission. And nobody worries that it’s racist to keep out blond white people. So, the Immigration and Naturalization Service kept pestering her about her visa.

    Alina wanted my father-in-law to solve her immigration problem for her by marrying her. But, as so often is the case, his four children did not look favorably upon a new claimant to the modest inheritance he and their late mother had laboriously compiled for them.

    She then investigated alternatives such as a fake marriage to somebody else, much like the blond Russian Farook-in-law who fake-married professional cuckold Enrique Marquez, the patsy who helped the Pakistani couple get the guns to massacre all those people in San Bernardino in 2015.

    Perhaps the most memorable tactic Alina came up with around 1995 in her battle with the INS was to pay to have genealogical documentation back home in Russia assembled (or perhaps forged—she was characteristically hazy about the details) that would prove to the government that she was Jewish and thus entitled to asylum under the 1990 Lautenberg Amendment.

    This was a striking gambit for several reasons.

    First, nobody in America had ever heard a word before about her being Jewish. Maybe she was Jewish the way Christopher Hitchens announced late in life that he was Jewish, much to the surprise of his brother, Peter Hitchens. Or maybe not.

    Second, it wasn’t obvious why people of Jewish descent were in need of a special legal privilege affording them refuge in America from Boris Yeltsin’s Russia. After all, the newspapers in the mid-1990s were full of encouraging accounts of Harvard and MIT economists, such as Larry Summers, Andrei Shleifer, Jeffrey Sachs, and Stanley Fischer, tutoring their Muscovite protégés on the latest Cambridge consensus on privatization and free markets.

    Sure, maybe the new Russia was enduring some growing pains, but Jewish people, at least, seemed to be thriving there. As Yale law professor Amy Chua pointed out in her 2002 book World on Fire, five of the seven richest oligarchs in 1990s Russia were Jewish. (In Putin’s Russia, about one-fifth of the billionaires are Jewish.)

    What wasn’t surprising at the time, however, was that the U.S. government could legally favor some religious groups and disfavor others in its policies toward the outside world.

    I was distinctly aware of this because my cousin Mike had been a staffer for Henry Jackson (D-WA), the famous “Senator from Boeing,” who led the military–industrial complex wing of the Democratic Party. Among other Jackson staffers were more historically consequential figures such as the early neoconservative operatives Richard Perle and Ben Wattenberg.

    Richard Nixon and his chief domestic policy adviser Daniel Patrick Moynihan had conjured neoconservatism into existence in 1969 by pointing out to Moynihan’s friends among Jewish intellectuals that American support for Israel was contingent upon America not losing the Cold War to the Soviet Union.

    However, Nixon and his chief foreign policy adviser Henry Kissinger were simultaneously forging détente with the Soviets. This contradiction enabled Senator Jackson, who had strong presidential ambitions, to get to the White House’s right by demanding open emigration for Soviet Jews.

    The Soviet Union had been ardently anti-anti-Semitic during the 1920s and 1930s. But during the crisis of WWII its ruling coalition of the fringes realized it needed to placate its downtrodden Russian majority with better job opportunities.

    Then, after Israeli politician Golda Meir’s triumphant 1947 visit to Moscow, Stalin became paranoid that Soviet Jews might become more Zionist than Stalinist. Fortunately, Stalin died before a massive persecution of Jews could be launched.

    During the sane but stagnant Brezhnev Era, the job prospects of Soviet Jews were diminished by hiring discrimination and, in effect, affirmative-action programs for underrepresented ethnicities, such as the Russian majority. Soviet ethnic quotas were more severe than what Asians and whites are expected to put up with uncomplainingly in the U.S. to make room for underrepresented blacks and Hispanics, but they were not much different in principle.

    The Soviet Union seldom let its subjects emigrate, but in the late 1960s it made an exception by allowing some Jews to go to Israel. However, in 1972 it imposed a head tax on emigrants ostensibly to compensate the Soviet state for the cost of educating the émigrés. This tax, of course, hit Jews—the Soviet Union’s best-educated ethnicity—particularly hard.

    In response, my cousin’s boss authored the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to force the Soviets to let Jews and other religious minorities out. Kissinger was annoyed that his Metternichian realpolitik with Moscow was being trifled with. For the next couple of years, the political struggle to “Save Soviet Jews” was constantly in the headlines. After months of three-way negotiations among Jackson, Kissinger, and the Soviet ambassador, Gerald Ford signed the Jackson-Vanik Amendment in January 1975.

    While somewhat submitting to the demands of Senator Jackson, the Soviet government maintained a five-year cooling-off period on their Jewish defense scientists. Jews who possessed military technology secrets and wanted to emigrate were typically fired from their top-secret jobs and had to twiddle their thumbs for half a decade before they could leave the Soviet bloc.

    However, they could vacation in East Berlin, which offers me the opportunity to tell another story about my in-laws.

    My wife’s uncle, a U.S. Air Force colonel with a Ph.D. in metallurgy, would occasionally go spying in East Berlin and meet up with Soviet Jewish aerospace experts. He’d get the word through the grapevine that a future émigré would be sitting in a parked car on a certain East Berlin backstreet on a certain evening. He’d put on civilian clothes and cross into East Berlin as a tourist, climb into the Soviet car, and talk shop for a few hours. Then he’d saunter back to West Berlin and quickly write down everything he’d learned.

    Similarly, the 1990 Lautenberg Amendment gave special immigration privileges to Soviet (and later Iranian) Jews, along with Evangelical Christians.

    These religious tests in immigration law have had a major effect on my hometown, the San Fernando Valley in northwest Los Angeles. My neighborhood has increasingly filled up with ex-Soviets searching for sunshine. (You might wonder who exactly won the Cold War.)

    The Russification of parts of Los Angeles has been an underreported story.

    Initially, the ex-Soviet arrivals were largely Jewish. But increasingly the Russians are their Slavic distant relatives and neighbors. Many are slightly Jewish Russians invited to Israel by Ariel Sharon to vote for him, but who eventually tired of the Jewish state and bounced to Los Angeles. Others are plain Slavs, some of whom presumably get jobs as bodyguards for Russian-speaking billionaires buying up mansions in the Hollywood Hills.

    For example, when my nephew stayed with us a few years ago, he played on two soccer teams at the local park. One team was otherwise all Mexican; they amiably called him “Hollywood” because tall, blond, blue-eyed English speakers have become so rare in Los Angeles outside of soundstages.

    The other team was made up of tall, blond, blue-eyed Russian speakers. They unsmilingly called him “Hey You” because they were Russians.

    I recall all this history about how the U.S. government has chosen to give immigration privileges to some foreign religious groups and not to others.

    But many pundits can’t seem to remember much of anything. All that matters to them is knowing who are supposed to be the good guys and who the bad guys. As Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin liked to say, the only principle that they cared about is “Who? Whom?”

    For example, Julia Ioffe wrote a long article in The Atlantic about how mean Americans were to her family when granting them refugee status in 1990.

    When I pointed out to her on Twitter that she got in under a religious test, which we keep hearing is unconstitutional, she replied:

    there was no religious test. Not sure what you mean

    Being oblivious to the obvious is clearly a professional advantage in the punditry business. But can American continue to afford its delusional elites?

    Steve Sailer
    Extended Stay America
     
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