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Credit: Son Nguyen

Controversial Penn Law professor Amy Wax advocated for an immigration policy favoring immigrants from Western countries over non-Western countries at this week’s inaugural National Conservatism Conference.

Participants at the three-day Edmund Burke Foundation’s National Conservatism conference in Washington D.C. attempted to build a new, non-racist “conservative nationalism” less concerned about state power, according to Vox. Many speakers including Wax said a key aspect of “national conservatism,” however, argued against cultural change caused by mass immigration.

Wax said at a panel on immigration that immigrants are responsible for an increase in “litter,” and America would be "better off" if it were dominated numerically by Western people.

“The position [is] that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites,” Wax said.

Wax claimed that her statements were not racist because she opposes nonwhite immigrants for their culture rather than their biology, Vox reported.

Wax positively cited Donald Trump’s description of non-European countries as “shithole countries,” according to Vox, and argued for a “cultural distance” approach to immigration that “preserves the United States as a Western and First World nation.”

Wax also cited her 2018 paper on giving immigrants preference based on their ethnonational background and quoted John Derbyshire, a writer who wrote to his white children to avoid places where black people congregate. Vox reported that Derbyshire was soon fired from his job at National Review as a result.

In his opening night speech on July 14, David Brog, one of the conference organizers, pointed at the exit door and told racists in the audience to leave the conference, according to Vox, as a way to emphasize a non-racist conservatism. 

Wax's latest comments comes after a year of controversy surrounding her racially-based remarks. In a co-written op-ed published in August 2017, Wax argued for a return to the 1950s American cultural norms. In a subsequent interview with The Daily Pennsylvanian, Wax said white, Anglo-Protestant cultural norms are superior. Her comments raised backlash from students and faculty, which includes a petition signed by 33 Penn Law professors 'categorically reject[ing]' her claims.  

She continued to make waves when she claimed she has never seen a black Penn Law student graduate in the top quarter of their class in a video from fall of 2017. Days after the video resurfaced, Penn Law Dean Ted Ruger announced on March 13, 2018 that Wax would no longer be allowed to teach a mandatory first-year course because Wax had broken school policy by disclosing student grades. 

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