Volokh Conspiracy’s Ilya Somin Smears 1924 Immigration Act—For Contemptibly Selfish Reasons
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With Eugene Volokh, founder of The Volokh Conspiracy seemingly fading away, the dominant voice at the website has become that of the far cruder and openly ethnocentric Ilya Somin.

Somin is also a Russian Jewish immigrant but arriving at the age of 5 he did better expropriating the fruits of American higher education, holding degrees from Amherst, Harvard, and Yale. Volokh, although judging from his biography a much cleverer man, was confined to UCLA.

Somin is extremely voluble. In May alone he published 19 substantial essays on The Volokh Conspiracy.

These articles are comically predictable. A fanatical Open Borders man, he never exhibits any empathy for the great mass of his fellow Americans. He is strongly influenced by the interests of owners of capital.

I have been brooding about this classic example since it was posted: The ”Migrant Crisis” is Caused by Flawed Work and Housing Policies, not Migrants [by Ilya Somin, The Volokh Conspiracy, February 20, 2024].

Somin asserts:

I discussed this phenomenon in Queens Landlord Enriched By Biden Immivasion—Neighborhood Destroyed and NY Real Estate Owners Pigging Out On Great Replacement Funding

Ilya Somin is impervious to anyone’s interests but his own.

Now Somin has had the insolence to post The 100th Anniversary of One of America’s Worst Laws—the 1924 Immigration Act [The Volokh Conspiracy, June 3, 2024].

Bluntly, his claims are crazy:

Post‐​1924 Americans are not free to associate, contract, and trade with people born around the world as they were before.

This is a ridiculous statement.

Just as silly:

…the Act also did great harm to native-born Americans by depriving them of the economic growth, productivity, and innovation that immigration produces, and reducing America’s power and influence in the world.

Oh yeah? No doubt this was why, 21 years later, America was unable to defeat Germany and Japan in separate titanic global wars, and save the USSR from the consequences of Stalin’s diplomatic outwitting by Hitler and the damage done by his slaughter of his officer corps.

Somin burbles on:

If the United States had granted legal permanent residence at the same per‐​capita rate that it did from 1900–1914—before World War I disrupted travel—another 164 million immigrants would have been permitted to settle in the United States legally.

While it not quite clear what period Somin has in mind the population of the U.S. in 1965, when the nation-breaking reversal of policy of that year, was engineered, was 195 million. So if Somin had had his way this would have been 84% higher.

A population expansion of this size driven by the introduction of aliens obviously raises the danger I discussed late last year in Chinese Problems + No Borders = American Obliteration. Would America still be America?

Apparently this is not a question Somin cares about.

Not that he rejects ethnic considerations altogether:

The most obvious harm caused by the 1924 Immigration Act was consigning many millions of would-be immigrants to a lifetime of poverty and oppression in their countries of origin. The most notorious example is that of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, such as Anne Frank and her family

There is definitely a school of thought that the 1924 Act was wrong because it did not subordinate American immigration policy to the convenience of German Jews.

In one of his first essays for us, Was the 1924 Immigration Cut-off ”Racist”?, Professor Kevin MacDonald considered the torrent of abuse to which the Act has been subjected:

But were the 1920s restrictions “racist-driven”? What, exactly does that mean? And could it be that the opponents of those restrictions had their own ethnic motivations? Motivations still to be found today?

MacDonald pointed out that the Congressional colloquies were full of admissions by the measure’s supporters acknowledging that recent immigrants were superior in various ways to the native-born, but that they did not accept it gave the newcomers the right to transform America. Thus Congressman William N. Vaile of Colorado:

What we do claim is that the northern European and particularly Anglo-Saxons made this country. Oh, yes; the others helped. But… [t]hey came to this country because it was already made as an Anglo-Saxon commonwealth. They…did not make it, and they have not yet greatly changed it.

We are determined that they shall not … It is a good country. It suits us … If there is any changing to be done, we will do it ourselves.

This perfectly reasonable point of view is anathema to open-borders types like Ilya Somin.


Later, in 2014, Professor MacDonald explored this for us in Is Immigration Really A ”Jewish Value”?  At the time a tremendous effort was underway in Congress for amnesty and immigration acceleration, with the energetic support of most Jewish groups. Also at the time, Israel was wrapping up its successful effort to prevent an inundation by black Africans crossing the Suez peninsula.

We had a series celebrating this: Netanyahu For President! (4)

Professor MacDonald was curious about this extreme paradox. He concluded:

The way I see it is that overtly nationalist ethics are alive and well in Israel, as it rids itself of African migrants and systematically oppresses the Palestinians via ethnic cleansing and apartheid, while in the U.S. and elsewhere in the Western Diaspora the organized Jewish community and most Jewish intellectuals pose as enlightened universalists…

Diaspora Jewish groups in the West see themselves as benefiting from displacement-level immigration because it lessens the power of the White majority.

In fact, the motive may be more specific in some cases, as I noted in The Lesson Of WHITE RURAL RAGE: They Hate Us. They Will Always Hate Us.

But I agree with Kevin MacDonald’s conclusion:

Western peoples… can only begin to defend their legitimate interests when they challenge the hypocrisy, and historical inaccuracy, of Jewish immigration enthusiast claims to a unique, and imperative, moral vision.

Complain to Ilya Somin via email or Twitter.





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