Societywatch

From the November-December 2015 Trumpet Print Edition

Number of sanctuary cities rise as immigration laws go unenforced

The number of sanctuary cities across the United States is growing. There are now 340 jurisdictions that are obstructing immigration enforcement, according to a report released by the Center for Immigration Studies in October.

Another report prepared by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ice) showed that each month the sanctuary cities are releasing approximately 1,000 alien offenders that ice seeks to deport. Of those released, 62 percent “had significant prior criminal histories or other public safety concerns even before the arrest that led to a detainer.”

A San Francisco rally shows support for sanctuary city policy.

The murder of Kate Steinle by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco on July 1 brought sanctuary cities back on to the political scene. The man charged with her murder had been deported five times and had seven prior felony convictions. ice, which had asked to be notified of his release, was never informed.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, during a congressional hearing, accused the Republicans of “exploiting” the death of Kate Steinle for political purposes. Republicans replied that her death was easily preventable. It boiled down to one thing: following the law.

Local sanctuary cities are failing to consistently enforce federal law. Some sanctuary city sheriffs claim they should not receive the label since they participate in the administration’s new Priority Enforcement Program (pep). But the Center for Immigration Studies report explains: “pep explicitly allows jurisdictions to obstruct immigration enforcement by ignoring detainers or barring ice access to jails. Under pep, immigration officers also issue ‘requests for notification’ asking local authorities to tell them when a criminal alien in their custody will be released so ice can attempt to take custody for deportation. Local agencies are free to ignore these notifications.”

When a nation’s own law enforcement agencies pick and choose which laws to enforce, the nation is in a dangerous situation.

One in six adolescents admits to stealing within the past year

A study has found that one in six young Americans has stolen something within the past year. The study, published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization in November was based on self-reported theft by 12-to-16-year-olds from 1997 to 2011.

The study found that thieves had lower earnings later in life, after most had already stopped stealing. According to another study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, a history of shoplifting increased association with all antisocial behaviors measured, the strongest of which were with increased antisocial personality disorders, substance abuse, pathological gambling, and bipolar disorders. Further studies have linked stealing among adolescents to poor grades, alcohol and drug abuse, sadness and hopelessness.

The National Association of Shoplifting Prevention estimates around $13 billion worth of goods are stolen in the United States each year.

What do gamblers and compulsive texters have in common?

Compulsive texters exhibit behavior similar to gamblers, a study published October 5 says.

The authors, who surveyed over 400 eighth and 11th graders in a Midwestern town, found that many teenage texters lose sleep, have problems cutting back, and lie to cover up their habits, much like gamblers.

The research showed that compulsive texting involves more than just the frequency of texting; it has more to do with the individual’s inability to pull away from their phone.

While gamblers lose thousands of dollars due to their addiction, compulsive female student texters lose academic performance and friendships, the study showed.

The researchers cautioned that this part of the study was based on self-reporting, but said it confirmed other studies that show the correlation between lower grades and texting while doing homework.