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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Refugees and Evangelicals

In February 2017, as debate raged nationally over President Trump’s decision to curtail immigration to the United States, the conservative Christian Broadcasting Network dipped into the Bible to share what that sacred text said about refugees.

“Treat refugees the way you want to be treated,” it said, quoting Leviticus. “Invite the stranger in” (Matthew) and “Open your door to the traveler” (Job).

The first comment in reply to the article captures the tone of the rest of the feedback the site received: “Shame on CBN for this very poorly written article full of political rhetoric. This is not a Biblical issue.”

At the time, polling from Pew Research Center showed that about 56 percent of Americans believed that the United States had a responsibility to welcome refugees into the country. In the year since, that figure has dropped and is now at a bare majority, 51 percent.

But Pew’s new research includes a fascinating detail: No group agrees less with the idea that the United States has a responsibility to accept refugees than white evangelical Protestants.

Pew reports on attitudes toward refugees:


David Greene & Frank Newport at Gallup:
Americans rarely agree as overwhelmingly as they did in November 1938. Just two weeks after Nazi Germany coordinated a brutal nationwide attack against Jews within its own borders -- an event known as "Kristallnacht" -- Gallup asked Americans: "Do you approve or disapprove of the Nazi treatment of Jews in Germany?" Nearly everyone who responded -- 94% -- indicated that they disapproved.
Yet, even though nearly all Americans condemned the Nazi regime's terror against Jews in November 1938, that very same week, 72% of Americans said "No" when Gallup asked: "Should we allow a larger number of Jewish exiles from Germany to come to the United States to live?" Just 21% said "Yes."
Why this yawning gap between disapproval of the Nazi regime's persecutions and a willingness to aid refugees? Gallup polling on these topics during the Nazi era helps answer this question, providing important context for understanding Americans' responses to the threat of Nazism.
Americans' widespread disapproval of the Nazi regime's treatment of Jews could not necessarily be assumed in 1938, given evidence that the U.S. was not immune from its own xenophobia and discrimination.
Prejudice against Jews in the U.S. was evident in a number of ways in the 1930s. According to historian Leonard Dinnerstein, more than 100 new anti-Semitic organizations were founded in the U.S. between 1933 and 1941. One of the most influential, Father Charles Coughlin's National Union for Social Justice, spread Nazi propaganda and accused all Jews of being communists. Coughlin broadcast anti-Jewish ideas to millions of radio listeners, asking them to "pledge" with him to "restore America to the Americans."

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Briefer Who Wasn't There


Children at the Border

Michael Sheetz at CNBC:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions escalated criminal prosecutions for people crossing the border illegally, including enacting a zero tolerance policy that will see even more parents jailed and separated from their children, NBC News reported this week.
The new prosecution strategy went into effect this month, the report found, reversing precedent that families would remain together in shelters while undergoing asylum or deportation proceedings. Sessions' policy extends to misdemeanor charges for first-time improper entry, according to the report.
The prosecution tactic is expected to compound an existing problem: Federal officials are losing track of migrant children in the U.S. foster care system, The Associated Press reported last month. While parents are jailed, children are turned over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, part of the Department of Health and Human Services. The children are then designated as "unaccompanied minors," AP reported, and the government tries to connect them to family members who are already in the United States.
"ORR was unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 [unaccompanied alien children]," Steven Wagner, acting assistant secretary for the HHS' administration for children and families, said at a Senate subcommittee testimony in April. The figure was for 2017.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Grim News on Recidivism

Five out of six state prisoners were arrested at least once during the nine years after their release, the Bureau of Justice Statistics announced today. This is the first BJS study that uses a 9-year follow-up period to examine the recidivism patterns of released prisoners. The longer follow-up period shows a much fuller picture of offending patterns and criminal activity of released prisoners than is shown by prior studies that used a 3- or 5-year follow-up period.
This 2018 update on prisoner recidivism tracks a representative sample of prisoners released in 2005 in 30 states and chronicles their arrests through 2014. In 2005, those 30 states accounted for 77 percent of all persons released from state prisons nationwide.
Overall, 68 percent of released state prisoners were arrested within three years, 79 percent within six years and 83 percent within nine years. The 401,288 released state prisoners were arrested an estimated 2 million times during the nine years after their release, an average of five arrests per released prisoner.
On an annual basis, 44 percent of prisoners were arrested during the first year after release, 34 percent were arrested during the third year and 24 percent were arrested during the ninth year. Five percent of prisoners were arrested during the first year after release and were not arrested again during the 9-year follow-up period.
Released property and drug offenders were more likely to be arrested than released violent offenders; however, released violent offenders were more likely to be arrested for a violent crime. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of released drug offenders were arrested for a non-drug crime within nine years, and more than a third (34 percent) were arrested for a violent crime.
Among prisoners arrested after release, the percentage of those arrested in another state increased each year after release. Eight percent of prisoners arrested during the first year following release were arrested outside of the state from which they were released. In comparison, 14 percent of prisoners arrested during the ninth year following release were arrested in another state.
To conduct this large-scale recidivism study, BJS used prisoner records obtained from state departments of corrections through BJS’s National Corrections Reporting Program and criminal history records obtained through requests to the FBI's Interstate Identification Index and state repositories via the International Justice and Public Safety Network.
The report, 2018 Update on Prisoner Recidivism: A 9-Year Follow-up Period (2005-2014) (NCJ 250975), was written by BJS statisticians Mariel Alper and Matthew Durose and former BJS statistician Joshua Markman. The report, related documents and additional information about BJS’s statistical publications and programs can be found on the BJS website at www.bjs.gov.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics of the U.S. Department of Justice is the principal federal agency responsible for collecting, analyzing and disseminating reliable statistics on crime and justice systems in the United States. Jeffrey H. Anderson is director.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Trump Can't Block People on Twitter

From Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald:
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: granting in part and denying in part 34 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting in part and denying in part 42 Motion for Summary Judgment. We conclude that we have jurisdiction to entertain this dispute. Plaintiffs have established legal injuries that are traceable to the conduct of the President and Daniel Scavino and, despite defendants' suggestions to the contrary, their injuries are redressable by a favorable judicial declaration. Plaintiffs lack standing, however, to sue Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is dismissed as a defendant. Hope Hicks is also dismissed as a defendant, in light of her resignation as White House Communications Director. Turning to the merits of plaintiffs' First Amendment claim, we hold that the speech in which they seek to engage is protected by the First Amendment and that the President and Scavino exert governmental control over certain aspects of the @realDonaldTrump account, including the interactive space of the tweets sent from the account. That interactive space is susceptible to analysis under the Supreme Court's forum doctrines, and is properly characterized as a designated public forum. The viewpoint-based exclusion of the individual plaintiffs from that designated public forum is proscribed by the First Amendment and cannot be justified by the President's personal First Amendment interests. In sum, defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part, and plaintiffs' cross-motion for summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part. The Clerk of the Court is directed to terminate the motions pending at docket entries 34 and 42. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald on 5/23/2018) (ama) (Entered: 05/23/2018)