Judge Not Says Law Professor

court roomUniversity law professor, Ilya Somin, argues in a July 14 post at The Washington Post that Americans should not “…consign huge numbers of people (most of whom have not harmed anyone at all) to a lifetime of Third World poverty and oppression” by deporting them. He argues that most Americans have broken the laws – underage drinking or speeding – and, therefore, they should be more understanding of illegal aliens who violate the immigration law to enter or stay here.

This focus is myopic. It looks at the individual illegal alien who performs your housecleaning or day care or gardening or home construction and sees a hardworking, law abiding individual who can be appreciated for the services provided and the aspiration for a better life. It loses focus on the long-range implications of the aggregate presence of millions of such people who allow employers to gain competitive advantage by illegally hiring lower-wage workers. It ignores the wage effect on American workers competing for the same jobs. It ignores the impact on city schools and services. And, inter alia, it ignores the indisputable fact that unlimited population growth in a finite land mass with finite resources is impossible.

And, of course, those who defend the accommodationist policies of the Obama administration are prone, like Mr. Somin, to focus on peaceful illegal aliens while ignoring those who commit heinous crimes, such as the murderer of Kate Steinle.

Mr. Somin’s argument is in effect an appeal to the biblical caution, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” That precept does not mean to withhold judgment. It simply means to expect to be judged by the same standard. And, it does not hold for governance. Otherwise there would be no laws, nor judges nor even jury members.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    I’ve seen this idiotic argument before about how we should not enforce the law against illegals for illegal entry and identity fraud because most Americans have been guilty of speeding.

    First of all, breaking the law has consequences. Get a ticket and you pay a fine. Get numerous tickets and you can lose your license or even be jailed if you drive without one.

    Second, this is the “everybody does it” argument, therefore no one can be held accountable for breaking the law. Why would this same logic not extend to citizen bank robbers. Can’t you see this argument in court? Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client may have robbed First National but who among you has not exceeded the posted speed?

  2. avatar

    Good article
    Personally I like the use of *magna cum laude* students at the WH to shove the ‘beneficial to our society’ theory. Let’s not show the resources used to get HER there( I used ‘HER’ since it’s never the MS-13 brother or cousin). The education and law-enforcement ALONE make any “benefit” null & void. Not to mention the higher-wage job that SHE will take.
    And speaking of resources, what about the water shortage in the overpopulated California?
    Underage drinking and speeding are a “one & done” offense, as Somin uses it. Not…..even………close, to the same damage.