Immigration Yet Again

I don’t have the time or energy to rehash the entire immigration debate right now. I’d just like to point out a particularly annoying post from Radley Balko. Illegal immigrants apparently don’t use more health care resources than native born Latinos. How do we know this? Because some yotz from UC’s School of Public Health analyzed the data from a phone survey conducted in 2003 and concluded they didn’t.

Umm. Yeah. That’s a definitive bit of work, right there. Illegals don’t use more health services because they called them on the phone 4 years ago and asked them. You’ll pardon me if I don’t quite believe this study as the final definitive word. Why not? Here’s a scenario for you:

Hey, there, person in the country illegally! I’d like to ask you about your use of government provided services! Answer honestly now! Absolutely no repercussions will come to you! Just because I called you on the phone and know where you live is unimportant! We’re just interested in data and won’t call INS. Honest!

After all, as we’ve noted before about the illegal drug survey, nobody has any reason to lie in a survey like this. I’ll also just guess, off the top of my head, the distribution of services provided to illegals is lumpy in the extreme. Some hospitals may have a huge problem, while others see almost none. On the average, maybe it’s not a problem. Locally, it might be severe. I dunno, lacking any real data. I sure don’t trust an after the fact data reduction based on a telephone survey to give me the answers. Neither should anyone else, including Mr. Balko, who should know better.

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