That’s what my latest Taki’s Magazine column, “Extended Stay America,” is about: how, even though my relations are not particularly exotic, I can come up with four examples of how my relatives were affected by or involved with America’s immigration law preference for Soviet Jews. For example, about 45 years ago my cousin Mike, recently out of Georgetown Law, got a job working for Senator Henry Jackson, who went on to author the once-hugely famous Jackson-Vanik Amendment to benefit Soviet Jews.
Entering as a refugee confers all sorts of benefits unavailable to other immigrants, including loads of welfare programs, health insurance, job placement services, English language classes, and the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship after only five years.
Most important, though, Soviet Jews were not required to satisfy the United Nations definition of a “refugee,” to wit: someone fleeing persecution based on race, religion or national origin. They just had to prove they were Jewish.
If a temporary pause on refugee admissions from seven majority-Muslim countries constitutes “targeting” Muslims, then our immigration policy “targeted” Christians for discrimination for about 30 years.
But when you have been running a refugee program for years, and you have accepted 10,612 Sunni refugees and 56 Christians, and it is obvious why and obvious how to fix it, and nothing is done to fix it, well, the results speak more loudly than speeches, laws, intentions, or excuses. In effect we make it almost impossible for Christian refugees to get here.
The most straightforward explanation for this Disparate Impact is that former President Obama, after many years in the White House, still liked Muslims but was sick of Arabs, as his exit interview with Jeffrey Goldberg suggests, so Christian Arabs were particularly out of luck.
Ted Kennedy merely wanted to admit more distant cousins to vote for himself and for future Kennedys. (Similarly, Ariel Sharon admitted lots of marginally Jewish Russians t0 Israel who found it natural to believe that making Sharon Prime Minister of Israel was a good idea, although Israel’s rabbis tended to disagree that they were Jewish enough. Some of them have since moved to my neighborhood.)
The 1965 law, quite obviously, did not prohibit discrimination based on national origin. (I was wondering why the Times would sully its pages with the legal opinion of a Grove City College B.A., like Bier! Any “expert” in a storm, I guess.)