Open borders self-styled conservatives have been provoked into action by the FAIR Congressional Task Force pledge for political candidates calling on them to foreswear amnesty for illegal aliens and increases in immigration and guest workers. One of the first to attack the pledge was Grover Norquist, who apparently thinks he holds a patent on pledges because of his anti-tax increase pledge. Another salvo was aimed at the Task Force pledge on May 14 by Alex Nowrasteh.

The desperation of opponents to discredit of the pledge is obvious in this latest attack. Rather than arguing the pledge on its merit, the attack is an effort to confuse the issue by deliberately mischaracterizing it. Nowrasteh writes, “The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has sponsored a pledge for political candidates to oppose legal immigration as well as amnesty for unauthorized immigrants.” That is false. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand the difference between opposing legal immigration and opposing an increase to legal immigration, which currently is at a level of more than one million new immigrants per year.

Having mischaracterized the pledge, Nowrasteh, rambles on about U.S. immigration history. But all of his rambling is meaningless because it is based on his mischaracterization of the pledge against an increase.

Anyone who wants to understand better the issue of the level of immigration should revisit the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform led by the distinguished legislator and law school professor, Barbara Jordan. The USCIR recommended near unanimously that legal immigration should be restructured and reduced to a base level of 550,000 per year. No one at the time of that recommendation had the temerity to use that recommendation to challenge Jordan’s adherence to the nation’s openness to immigration the way that FAIR Congressional Task Force’s more modest pledge is being attacked.