Monday, December 29, 2008

Statistical Significance

The USA Today today does a wonderfully incomplete analysis of the U.S. war on illegal immigrants.

The facts:
  • U.S. border patrol efforts caught 705k would-be immigrants in the year ended Sept. 30, down from 1.7 million/year in the mid-80s
  • In addition to building a wall, which was very uncool when Germany did it, border efforts have included increasing staff from 4,000 agents in 1993 to 18,000 currently

What is left out:

  • How many are still getting in? How is their batting average?
  • How much of the decline is attributable to the economy? Are they staying home because there are fewer jobs?

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