Sunday, May 30, 2010

E-2 Brutus

Yet more evidence of the NY Times inability to do math / willingness to turn almost anything into a puff piece:

Over the last two and a half years, 8,468 requests for E-2 extensions have been filed, and their approval rate does appear to have dropped, according to figures provided by William G. Wright, a spokesman for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. So far in the 2010 fiscal year, he said, 82 percent of the applications have been approved. In 2009, 84 percent were approved, and in 2008, 91 percent.

This from a piece that talks about "the forgotten story of immigration" and the trend towards more E-2 application rejections.

Never mind the deduction of a 'trend' from three data points. Never mind that without more information it's impossible to tell whether an 8 percentage point drop in approvals is significant and / or whether 91 percent in 2008 was average or high. Never mind that it seems fairly reasonable, given what the economy has been like the last few years, to suppose that an additional 10% or so of people may have seen a drop in their income which would put them in a marginal income category.

Even if you buy these numbers completely, we're still talking about 8, 468 requests in 2.5 years = 1,700 requests in the last six months, 8% of which is 136. That's all of 136 additional people who've been denied visas this year as a result of this frightening new trend. Maybe there's a reason it's a forgotten story.

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