Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘immigration’

Guess who’s meddling in US politics now

Posted by Richard on August 14, 2018

An investigation by the Daily Caller News Foundation reveals that Iranian nationals are posing as anti-immigrant Americans as part of a campaign to defeat the repeal of per-country caps on the number of employment-based green cards (permanent resident visas) issued to mostly H1B visa holders:

Iranian nationals are impersonating Americans online to demonize Indian immigrants as part of a lobbying campaign against proposed legislation in the House of Representatives, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has found.

Using Twitter usernames that read like foreign stereotypes of American names, they tweet obsessively at reporters and high-profile political figures about the threats they say Indian immigrants pose to America.

H.R. 392 enjoyed broad bipartisan support and has been incorporated into the Homeland Security appropriations bill as an amendment. Contrary to what many of the fake Americans’ tweets claim, it doesn’t increase either the number of H1B visas or the number of green cards issued. It simply eliminates the per-country limits on the latter.

To be clear, these people aren’t living in Iran and doing the bidding of the Mullahs. They’re Iranians who’ve fled from the Mullahs and are living in the US under non-permanent visas. Their greatest fear, I’m sure, is being forced to return to Iran. They’re desperate to not have their already slim chances at gaining the security of permanent residence status further eroded. So I’m quite sympathetic to their concerns.

But their tactic of ginning up anti-immigrant sentiment and encouraging the false belief that this legislation will lead to countless Indians taking “all the jobs of the US citizens” is deplorable.

Before I retired as a technical writer, I worked with a number of H1B visa holders from around the world, some of whom were lucky enough to eventually obtain green cards. They were, to a man and woman, highly skilled, valuable professionals in software engineering and related fields. On net, they didn’t “take Americans’ jobs”; they created far, far more jobs than they “took” by helping to develop new products and services (including innovative, patentable new technologies) that greatly improved video conferencing and collaboration, distance learning, etc. They were exactly the kind of people we should want to become Americans. The US would become wealthier (and create countless new good jobs) if it allowed more such people to come here. And to stay.

Probably the only thing I’ve ever agreed with Thomas Friedman about is his suggestion for an immigration compromise: build a high wall with wide gates. In other words, make it harder to come here illegally, but easier to come here legally.

Perhaps that would assuage the fears of these Iranians by making them feel less like they’re playing a zero-sum game rigged against them. Which they are.

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Yet another climate scare

Posted by Richard on August 3, 2010

You've got to hand it to the True Believers in anthropogenic global warming — they just don't quit. Some of their leading lights were pretty thoroughly disgraced, and the laughable "investigations" that purported to clear them have been torn to shreds. But that doesn't stop them. They just crank up a new computer model, feed it a handful of dubious data, and it spits out a new prediction of the dire consequences of climate change.

Case in point: Princeton "environmental scientist" Michael Oppenheimer and some economist colleagues have come up with a computer model predicting that, by 2080 (!), as much as 10% of Mexico's adult population, or 6.7 million people, will migrate to the US due to climate change. Really.

The University of Colorado's Roger Pielke (who thinks "climate change is real and worthy of our attention") didn't mince words regarding the value of this study: 

To be blunt, the paper is guesswork piled on top of "what ifs" built on a foundation of tenuous assumptions. …

To use this paper as a prediction of anything would be a mistake. It is a tentative sensitivity study of the effects of one variable on another, where the relationship between the two is itself questionable but more importantly, dependent upon many other far more important factors. … It is almost as if the paper is written to be misinterpreted.

… The paper reflects a common pattern in the climate impacts literature of trying to pin negative outcomes on climate change using overly simplistic methods and ignoring those factors other than climate which have far more effect.

A commenter on Pielke's post pointed out that the math makes little sense:

"The silly PNAS paper makes three mistakes"

add another oops..

Total mexican labor forces 46.2 million
Percentage involved in agriculture 13.7%.

46.2 * 13.7% = 6.3 million agricultural workers.

Projecting more then 100% of the Mexican Agricultural labor force emigrating due to 'tough times on the farm' seems somewhat unrealistic.

Tom Nelson noted that, according to a 2007 NewsBusters post, Michael Oppenheimer is a "science adviser" to the radical Environmental Defense Fund who helped NBC News smear "global warming deniers." 

I can't wait to see what the next climate scare will be. I'm surprised, really, that someone hasn't come up with a computer model blaming climate change for all the foreclosures, the persistent unemployment, and the failure of the economy to recover during "Recovery Summer." After all, that "blame Bush" mantra is getting pretty stale. 

UPDATE: It occurs to me that, as I was writing the above, I forgot that this stupid study projects migration through 2080 — I suppose because that's such a ludicrously long period of time that it didn't really sink in. That means that both Oppenheimer's claim that the total migration amounts to 10% of the current adult Mexican population and the observation of the commenter I quoted that it represents more than 100% of the current agricultural labor force are pointless and meaningless.

Over the 70 years covered by the computer model's projection, most of the current population of Mexico will have died and been replaced by succeeding generations (and total population will have grown). How the total number of migrants over such a long period compares with the current population doesn't matter. How does the annual rate compare with the current rate? The study claims up to 6.7 million will migrate over 70 years. OK, that's a maximum of not quite 100,000 per year.

In 2008, FAIR (an anti-illegal-immigration organization) claimed the annual rate of illegal immigration was 500,000, and they cited an INS figure of 350,000. So the Oppenheimer study's claim of what amounts to less than 100,000 is far less than the current level. Are they saying the current rate will increase by that amount? That's not what the news stories about the study suggest. They suggest that the 6.7 million number is absolute, not relative. If so, their computer model predicts a significant decline in illegal immigration due to "climate change."

If the study suggests an incremental increase by that amount — well, they should say so. And it's fairly modest as such things go — I'll bet the rate varies by more than 20% depending on economic conditions on both sides of the border. 

Either way, this study is garbage, and the way they present it is misleading, mendacious fear-mongering. Typical of global warming "science." 

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