Footballers are tall, so you will get taller by playing football

The extraordinary conclusion Verity Edwards draws in the opening paragraph of “Boat arrivals almost all get visas” (The Australian, 25/2), namely that the title somehow proves that people-smugglers are taking advantage of our immigration laws, is at odds with the facts presented in the body of the article.

The reasoning, parroted here by Scott Morrison, is that if more boat arrivals are accepted, then it’s a good strategy to come by boat. This is a logical fallacy akin to arguing that because footballers are tall, you will get taller by playing football.

The simple reason for the high acceptance rate is pointed out by others quoted in the article: boat arrivals come from different, more desperate circumstances and are thus more likely to be approved, because of those circumstances, not because of the mode of arrival.

The only sensible conclusion to be drawn here is that the policy of mandatory detention is unnecessary, as well as inhumane and costly.

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