Asylum Seekers Say Illegal Crossings Were Their Only Option

MCALLEN, TEXAS — After a cop took Claudia to a field, grabbed her by the throat and threatened to kill her and her 7-year-old son Kevin this spring, it didn’t take long for the 26-year-old single mother to decide it was time to get out of El Salvador.

What happened next illustrates why so few Central American migrants enter the country the so-called “right way” — at the international bridges, or ports of entry, where migrants can request asylum without crossing the border illegally.

Claudia said she quickly called a friend who knew a smuggler.

“She told me that’s what he did, that he was good — that he was responsible,” she said. The man told her he could do it for $5,000. But she would have to do it his way.

“He said, ‘I do it but only with one method.’ They only will take you across the river in a raft, and on the other side you walk,” she recalled. “I asked him, ‘Why don’t you do it [at the bridge], and he said they don’t do it there because sometimes they get sent back.”

Every month, thousands of asylum-seeking families cross the Rio Grande and turn themselves in to Border Patrol rather than line up at a port of entry. Since October, more than 40,000 family members traveling together have presented themselves at the ports of entry without proper documentation; nearly twice that many have crossed into the country illegally over the same time period. (Neither U.S. Customs and Border Protection nor U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services could say how many of the migrants who arrived at ports of entry requested asylum.)

The Trump administration sought to curb illegal crossings by imposing a “zero-tolerance” crackdown at the border this summer that left more than 2,500 children, including Claudia’s son, separated from their parents.

“If you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen declared on Twitter at the height of the family separation crisis in June.

But that message ignored the deep-rooted factors — from smuggling practices to the complexities of U.S. immigration law — that drive Central American asylum-seekers to the river, despite the risks of a clandestine crossing.

Asylum-seekers like Claudia start on the path to an illegal crossing long before they actually reach the banks of the Rio Grande, relying on guidance from an informal …read more

Source:: Time – World


China Is Sending a Trade Envoy to Washington Amid Tariff Dispute

(BEIJING) — China is sending a trade envoy to Washington in a renewed effort to end a worsening tariff dispute that has raised worries it will chill global economic growth.

The delegation led by a deputy commerce minister will visit in late August to discuss “issues of mutual concern,” the Commerce Ministry announced Thursday. It gave no details of a possible agenda.

The two governments are poised to impose a new round of tariff hikes on $16 billion of each other’s goods next week in their worsening conflict over Beijing’s technology policy.

The Commerce Ministry said Beijing “reiterates its opposition to unilateralism and trade protectionism and does not accept any unilateral trade restrictions.”

This month’s meeting would be the first between senior U.S. and Chinese officials since June 3 talks in Beijing between Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Vice Premier Liu He ended with no settlement.

Following that, Washington imposed its first round of 25 tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods on July 6 in response to complains Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology. China responded with similar penalties on American imports.

The Trump administration is due to impose similar increases on an additional $16 billion of Chinese imports on Tuesday. China’s government has issued a list of American goods for retaliation.

…read more

Source:: Time – World


‘You’ll never be good enough’ — how anxiety lies to our girls and what you can do about it

The first day of seventh grade found Katherine huddled on the floor of her bathroom, clutching the toilet.

When she wasn’t throwing up she was crying, doubled over in pain.

By eighth grade, her stomach cramps and vomiting were more frequent and worse.

Finally, after Katherine had missed nearly three weeks of school, and completed a battery of medical tests, she and her mom realized what was going on — this was anxiety.

For Katherine, a high-achieving, A-minus-is-barely-acceptable, reading-at-a-college-level-while-still-in-middle-school student, the pressures to live up to a growing set of expectations were wreaking havoc.

“I need to be perfect,” says the now 15-year-old who agreed to speak on condition of just using her first name. “I need to be good, I need to be smart, and pretty and everything. I need to be all of it.”

In her mind, society expects nothing less than perfection from her.

From all girls.

Since the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s, society has tried to break through glass ceilings and level the playing field between boys and girls, says Stephen Hinshaw, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, listing policies like Title IX, college admission changes and increasing STEM involvement among girls through things like all-girl coding camps.

And girls have stepped up — outperforming boys in elementary school, out-graduating young men in high school, out-enrollingmen in college and out-achieving men in advanced degrees.

For the first time, more than half of all medical school students in 2017 were women, and as of 2016, 11.2 percent of women ages 25 to 29 had a master’s degree or higher, compared to 7.2 percent of men.

On the outside, young women are excelling.

But on the inside, many feel like they’re imploding.

Nearly 38 percent of teen girls have an anxiety disorder, compared to 26 percent of boys, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

More than two-thirds of antidepressants prescribed for teens are for girls, and girls comprise more than 90 percent of hospital admissions for eating disorders, says the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

“(We’re) caught in a cycle of neurotic perfectionism,” says Richa Bhatia, a board certified psychiatrist in San Mateo, California, and former faculty member at Harvard Medical School.

Girls internalize this message and many strive to be top achievers in school and sports, as well as the “good girl” and the “mom friend,” who takes care of everyone else. In addition, many …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News