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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  March 12, 2019 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: brexit in the balance. the u.k. parliament rejects prime minister may's latt plan to leave the european union at the end of the month. then, grounding the fleet. the u.s. continues to allow the boeing 787-max jets to fly, as europe and others countries ban them from the skies. and, "varsity blues." dozens of parents and coaches are indicted, after a federal investigation into widespread college admissions fraud at elite universities. plus, we return to the southern rder, this time in mexico, to examine the harsh cond and uncertainty faced by migrant families waiting to enter the u.s. legally. >> ( translated ): until a few
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months ago, the majority of the population that came to this shelter were men, mainly men. but this started to drastically when violence and unemployment started to then, entire fs started crossing. >> woodruff: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> on a cruise with american cruise lines, you caperience historic destinations along the mississippi river, the columbia river and across the united states. american cruise lines' fleet of small ships explore american landmarks, local cultures and calm waterways. american cruise lines, proud sponsor of pbs newshour.
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>> text night and day. >> catch it on replay. >> burning some fat. >> sharing the latest viral cat! >> you can do the things youh like to do wwireless plan designed for you. with talk, text and data. consumer cellular. learn more at consumercellular.tvf >> bilway. >> babbel. a language program that h,aches spanis french, german, italian, and more. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the british parliament has issued a stunning new statement on brexit tonight: it won't buy the prime
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minister's plan to leave the european union. what it will buy instead, is anything but clear, after rejecting the plan by nearly 150 votes. special correspondent ryan chilcote reports from london. >> if this vote is not passed tonight, if this deal is not passed, then brexit could be lost. >> reporter: the future of britain's exit from the european union was on the line-- in a day-long debate-- as was prime minister theresa may's political career.e may spth a hoarse voice that underscored her exhaustion from a last-ditch effort to push her amended brexit deal through parliament. >> i believe it is absolutely imperative for this house thatwe eet the decision that was taken by the british people in june 2016, that we deliver on that referendum, and that we liver brexit for the british people.or >> rr: her original brexit plan suffered a first resounding defeat by a historic margin back in january.
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>> the ayes to the right, 242. the nos to the left, 391. >> reporter: with that weighing onrer mind, the prime minis made an 11th-hour trip to strasbourg, france last night to seek new concessions fm the european commission's president. they reached "legally binding changes" on one of the deal's ma sticking points: the so-called "irish backstop" that would ensure the border between e.u. member ireland and the united kingdom's northern ireland remains open after brexit. the goal: for the u.k. not to be tied to the e.u. and its trade rules indefinitely-- should they be unable to agree on the nature of their future relationship. right now, the border between northern ireland and the republic of ireland is all but invisible. that means cars and goods can cross freely.y' original brexit strategy would have kept that border open. >> a joint instrument with comparable legal weight to the withdrawal agreement will guarantee that the e.u. cannot act with the intent of applying the backstop indefinitely. >> reporter: but that assurance
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also came with a warning... >> in politics, sometimes you t a second chance. it is what we do with thisat second chance ounts, because there will be no third chance. b there wino further interpretation of the interpretations, and no further assuranc of the reassurances. >> reporter: then this morning,i brs attorney general, geoffrey cox, took the wind out of may's sails, issuing a legal assessme that the changes reduce-- but do not eliminate-- the risk that the u.k.ld remain trapped in a trade union with the e. >> the question for the house is whether, in the ght of these improvements, as a polthical judgmenthouse should now enter in to those arrangements. however, the matters olaw affecting withdrawal can only inform what is essentially a political decision that each of us must make. >> reporter: the magnitude of
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that political decision fueled passionate debate in the house of commons. >> the honorable gentleman's cheeky, chappy crtling and chuckling away from a sedentary position, but it's been made perfectly clear that the prime minister's not giving way. >> reporter: opposition labour party leader jeremy corbyn was among those who rejected the deal. >> after three months of running down the clock, the prime minister has, despite very extensive delays, achieved not a single change to the withdrawal agreement. not one single word has changed. >> reporter: opponents again zeroed in on the so-called irisc top." >> if, in december 2020, rnate arrangements aren' found for the backstop, we'll have a hotel california brexit where we will have checked out, but we won'taving. >> reporter: critically, many of may's ow ireland's democratic unionist party-- refused to support the divorce agreement. with her coalition crumbling around her, the prime minister's brit strategy failed to wi passage. >> theyes to the right, 242.
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the nos to theeft, 391. so the nos have it. the nos have it. >> reporter: it all left >> i profoundly regret the decision that this house has taken tonight. i contin to bereave that by far the best outcome is that the united kingdom leave the european union in an orderly fashion with a deal. >> as fornhe europeann and its leaders, they're saying, look, there have been months and months of negoations. the u.k. decided to leave the european union two and a half rears ago. they're holding and they're saying they're not going to renegotiate the terms of the u.k.'s exit from the e.u. judy? >> woodruff: so, ryan, what a spectacle. tell us what's next. >> well, tomorrow the p is going to vote on whether the u.k. should exit the european union without a deal with the e.u. she doesn't think that's a good
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idt. that saidre are people who support brexit that think it's a good idea, that actually the u.k. would have more autonomy to pursue the kind of trade deals it would like the pursue. now, if that didn't get supported, if the parliamentarians is a, no, we do have to have a deal, then on thursday they'll have another vote where they'll be asked whether the deadline, the march 29 deadline when the u.k. is supposed to leave the e.u., whether that should be extended, pushed back. so two more votes coming quite possibly this week. >> woodruff: and so, ryan, ire know tre a number of directions this could go, but what are the options after this? >> so the tw logical options are, one, that theo u.k. choses to push -- pursue a new deal with the european union.e right now u. is saying they're not going to renegotiate the exitterm, however, the e.u. would love if the u.k. came back with a softer brexit, if they
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wanted to leave the e.u. but have a closer relationship after this with the european union. e primeuld require th minister to reach across party lines to the leader of the opposition, to jeremy corbyn, and do some kind of deal that they have already said that they would support, a softer brexit. that seems prettyicult to imagine, you know, they really don't like one another. the isn't that kind of bipartisan love, if you will, to see something like that happen. the other option is that this goes back to the british people, a second reerendum. they could be asked, do you support the prime minister's deal that she reached with the european union? obviously it's been rejected by the particle, but the peo would be asked, or do you think the u.k., now that we know what we know, should remn in the european union? those are really the only two options on the table. judy? >> woodruff: the drama continues. ryan chilcote reporting for us from london. thank you, ryan. >> thank you.
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>> woodruff: and we continue our look at today's vote and where the u.k. goes from here, with sir peter westcott. he had a 40-year career in the british diplomatic service and seed has his country's ambassador to the united states. sir peter westmacott, welcome back to the newshour. so what does today's parliament vote rejecting this latest plan, what does it mean for the b prospects oitain leaving the e.u.? is it now more likely or less likely? >> well, we are now in a state of some political meltdown, as your correspondent was just explaining. i think at the moment it means that it less likely that we leave on the 29th of march as scheduled because of today's vote, which wasyesoundin against trees -- theresa may'sck e, but also because parliamentarians are very likely to vote nsheavily agthe idea of leaving with no deal some if you haven't got theresa may's deal and you haven't got no deal, then what have you got?
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on thursday there will be a vote about wheth to askr an extension of the 29th of march deadline from the eur commission. at the moment that is what is most likely to happen in the near future. so i think leaving on the h9th of march is feeling a little less likelyn it was before tonight's vote. >> woodruff: so you're saying parliamentarians tomorrow likely to say, okay, wneed some kd of deal if we're going the leave, the question is what does it look like? >> well, its not even as clear as that i'm afraid, judy. parliamentarians will like say, we don't like the ida of crashing out, because it would be kay yacht nick a whole will the of different ways. neither the european union or the united kingdom is ready for that. but what they're not saying is what they would like, and that's part of the prime minister's frustration. she rushed off to strasbourg over the feekend to put aew improvements to her parge, but without checking first that her own law officer, the attorney general, thought the pacge
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uld do the trick. he opined and said it doesn't give the legal guarantee had hoped for, so the result was that parliament said this isn'tg good e so we're a bit stuck in that sense. the most likely thing therefore is extending the timetable if the european side will agree, and a lot of the signs ths evening since the vote are that the european commission and the european member states are not t giviis away for nothing, that they will have their own views as to h long the extension might be and there may be some conditions that are not tohe liking of the united kingdom. so you could still end up crashing out, but it feels to me not so likely that it will happen on the 29th of march because there is likely to be a vote for an extensioif the europeans agree to it on thursday. >> woodruff: peter westmacott, why has this been so messy and so difficult? what's at the core of what's going on here? >> the core of it, judy, is that it was always going to be very,
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very difficult. you know, you can decide if you have a becomes of eggs ifront of you whether you want to scramble them, fry them, poach them, whatever, but once you've scrambled them, unscrambling them is aery difficult thing to do, and many of us said that at the time. fast forward to the results of the referendum, one of the problems is that theresa may decided in order to get a fresh mandate and a bigger majority, she would hold a general election when she ddn't need to 18 months or so ago, and she lost her majority with itow. sohe's totally dependent on getting any business done in the house of commons on ten votes from northern irish members of parliament. frankly it's clear if the attorney general had said it was okay legally, probably those ten democratic unionist party d.p.s would have said we can live with it a probably enough of the conservative brexit supporters would have gone along with it, as well some she's somewhat held hostage by these
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ten votes in northern ireland because of the fact she lost her marity earlier on. so that's made the government position politically extrely fragile all the way through. added to that, i thnk the conservatives, never mind the majority or the lack thereof, has had real difficulty working out mention themselves what sort of brexit they wan they have been indecisive, unable to sort things out, so there has been a great deal of muddle over the last two and a half years to the frustration of a lot of the british people. >> woodruff: ishat any one person's fault or is it the fault of the system? >> well, you can point the finger of blame at lots of people. you can point the finger of blame if you wish to at david cameron fohaving called the referendum in the first place thinking he would be able to win it if it happened. you can pot the finger of blame to the prime minister because she is the head of the government which has conducted these negiations to no avail over the last two and a half, three years, or you can point e finger of blame tome very
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hard-line brexiteers who promised a number of things which have turneout to be fietser true nor deliverful. ind they have hung in there making the primeter's life extremely difficult. some people would say the commission is intransgent. i don't buy that. le was the british peho asked to leave, and we're the ones who brought this upon ourselves. ed for this. and then we asked for it to be changed. so i thinkt's a little harsh to say the people in brussels have been inflexible. woodruff: so very quickly, finally, why should the rest of the world pay close attoneno this, the united states, the rest of the global economy? >> i thinkte it mat to the united states for two principle onreasons. is the united kingdom is a very business friendly economy, which is the obvious port of entry, especially for english-speaking people to the european market.
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we've had lots of investment from companies buding and investing in the u.k. to get access to the e.u. if that's taken away by the terms the brexit deal or n deal, that will be a problem. sexually, i think the united kingdom in the european ion is a force, if you like, for the angelo phone world. it has been a means of trying to ensure that some of america's lipoints of view, pes, preferences are transmitted to the european union, and i thi that could be lost when we leave, how we leave, and eartainly i think the eur union itself is weakened. of course, i would say this, wouldn't i? but i hear it from my freh and german and other friends. if the u.k. is no longer there and the obstacle two big powares france and germany, who often find it difficult to agree on things, then i thinthe european union is weaker. the people who are rubbing their hands are the people in the kremlin. >> woodruff: we are watching it all very closely. peter westmacott, we thank you.
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>> woodruff: in the day's other news, the european union and ag growst of nations banned flights by boeing's 737 max, after an air disaster in ethiopia. sunday's crash killed all 157 people on board. u in t., boeing defended the plane, and the federal aviation administration maintained it is fit to fly. we will delve into the details,s after the ummary. in syria, islamic state fighters are urging supporters to launch vengeance attacks around the world. several hundred diehard fighters are now under siege in eastern syria. they posted a recording on social media today. it tells followers to "rise against the crusaders, and take revenge for your religion." the government of venezuela announced today that it isin investigopposition leader juan guaido over a nationwide power blackout. thoutage began thursday, a continued today. president nicolas maduro went on national tv last night to blame the united states and guaido. the chief prosecutor followed up
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today. >> what happened last week, thit electrical se, is not a casual event. what i am telling alou is that it is part of a growing number of events, each time rger, to knock out a legitimately elected government. where the supposed calls to dialogue, agreement, coexistence? na woodruff: guaido blames corruption and misment for the blackout. meanwhile,.s. secretary of state mike pompeo announced last night that all remaining american diplomats willeave venezuela. he said their presence had become a constraint on po and, special representative eliot abrams promised today that significant new sanctions are coming soon. the united nations reports at least 535 people were killed in western congo over the course of three days in december. d vestigators say it happe yumbi territory, when members of one group attacked a rival group
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with guns and gasoline. the report says the campaign may amount to crimes against humanity. back in this countrythere is word that apprehensions along the u.s. bordewith canada are growing. the customs and border protection agency reports more than 4,300 peoplwere detained in 2018. that is up more than 40% from ae earlier. during that same time, nearlype 400,00le were apprehended along the u.s. border with mexico. president trump is facing yet another invewiigation. it ily reported that the new york state attorney general's office has subpoenaed records from two banks. they involved real estate projects and mr. trump's attempt to buy pro football's buffalo bills in hier lawyer, michael cohen, has told congress that the president routinely overstated his wealth when dealing with banks. and, on wall street, stocks had a mixed day. the dow jones industrial averag9 lopoints to close at
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25,554. the nasdaq rose 33 points, andad the s&p 500 d eight. still to come on the newshour: how governments and airlines worldwide are responding to the boeing crash. an on-the-ground report from the mexican side of the southern rder. federal investigators charge dozens for widespread college admissions fraud. a chicago activist on ending gun violence. and, much more. >> woodruff: the push to ground nde kind of boeing 737 jet that crashed this weeas grown around the world. but here in the u.s., the f.a.a. and the airlines say they still believe in the plane's safety. there's a fair amount of criticism and questiont
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that decision. john yang begins with this report. >> yang: dozens of countries, cluding all european uni nations, have grounded the boeing 7-max-8 and banned them from their airspace. that's on toof at least 27 airlines that have voluntarily taken the planes out of service. the actions come two dayafter an ethiopian airlines 737-max-8 crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board. .sinese officials said their ban would last untilregulators act.ha >> the c.a.a.cclearlyat that they will ask ciinese aviation companies to lift ban on comm operation of boeing 737-8-max unless they are assured by the u.s. federal aviaon administration and boeing company that they have taken related measures to guarantee safe travel. >> yang: the f.a. insists the planes are safe. they say they are closely watching the probe of the
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ethiopia crash. u.s. investigators are on the ground whe of the victims are sifting through debris for remains and personal items. sunday's tragedy is the second deadly aident in five months where a 737-max-8 crashed justof after tali in october, air flight from jakarta crashed, killing all 189 on board. the cause is still under investigation. attention has focused on an automated flight control feature designed to avoid what's called a stall. a stall can happen if a plane's nose points too high and loses the ability to fly. the 737-max-8's autopilot is designed to sense when tt is a danger and automatically push the nose pilots canide the system by shutting the autopilot off. while insisting the plane is safe as it is now, the
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says it expectrder fixes to the system no later than april. the changes have reportedly been delayed by disagreements between boeing and federal regulators about how extensive they should be. about 350 boeing 737-max-8's are in operation worldwide, 58 of them operated by two u.s.-based airlines: southwest and american. both are continuing to operate the jets. on capitol hill, a growing number of lawmakers say the f.a.a. should ground the planes and look into the issue. connecticut senator richard blumenthal: >> these planes are accidentswa ing to happen, until theree is ssurance that either pilots have been better trained or the problems with the aircraft have been fixed. >> yang: president trump weighed in, saying, "airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. pilots are no longer needed, but rather, computer scientists from m.i.t." but, he did not publiclyall on
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the f.a.a. to act differently. >> woouff: we are joined by mary schiavo. she is a former transportation department inspect general, who is now a lawyer representing survivors and victims' filies in airline accidents. that includes a case against boeing stemming from the 2014 disappearaaie of malaysian ines flight 370. mary schiavo, thanks so much for joining us. just a little bit ago the f.a.a. put out a statement repeating that they find no systic performance issues and no basis at's reaction to that? of this >> well, the two planes have alweady crashed. on't know the cause yet of the second one, and f.a.a.'s own warnings to boeing concerning the repairs thawere needed after the lion air crash says the was a irish wih -- a risk with impact with terrain. it's impossible to say they're safe when two have already crashed and we don't know why for a second one. it's completely imposble, oxymoronic.
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>> yang: note we asked the f.a.a. the give us someone to talk to and they drned usown, but they say that's precisely why, the fact that they don't know the answer to what caused these two crashes is precisely why they are not ordering the grounding. >> well, if you don't know why planes are falling out of theyo sky, wha're doing is betting with passengers' livesth and other live it won't happen again. and that's not the purpose of safety regulations. the purpose of safety regulations, remember, an aircraft certification says that the plane is safe to fly. it doesn't say we don't know why it's falling out of the sky, so we're going the leave it. there it's completely the opposite of what safety fgulators are supposed to do. >> yang: the.a.a. says it's safe the fly now a, butt the same time, they're talking about modifications to this stall-avoidance system. we're also told that there are dianussions between boein the f.a.a. about the parameters
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of this fix. help us understand the relationship between regulators and the regulated. >> welnl,fortunately, you know, in the case of the f.a.a. and boeing and otherer manufactand major carriers, it's a very symbiotic relationship, but the f.a.a. has over the years relly come to defer to boeing and other manucturers, airbus, et cetera, and to the airlines, and so on issues such as this, the f.a.a. often takes its cues and its direction from boeing, not for sinner the reason, not because somebody is on the take, t because boeing has the greater expertise, and over the years, when i was inspector general, we had man investigations, including on the certification of the 777, that .ashowed that the f.ajust did not have the firepower, did not havehe exertise and the training and the ability to go toe to toe with boeing and other issues in manufacturing over mplex computer issues. that's what this is. they put a computer modification
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on a plane to keep it from stalling, didn't tell the pilots and train them, and then after a second one went down, now the f.a.a. says they're going to order boeing to make chaes to that computer system by april. so in the meantime, is it safe? well, not according to the f.a.a. it can cau impact with terrain. >> yang: impact with terrain, a euphemism for a crash. you asked that question: ist safe. you wrote in a blog today earlier today that you would not be comfortable flying on thi model aircraft. why? >> well, be'tuse we don know why, two have fallen out of the sky, and we don'tnow why, and to me that says you shouldn't be on it until we do know why.i and theyl very soon. in some ways this is just astonishing that people have not been more proactive. those black boxes are the best there are. they're the top of the ne models. they're the newest ones. they have probably downloaded
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and literally within a week we will know a cause and can pay at that point we can say whether or not the airplane is safe. at this point it's the whole reason we have a black box, to solve the mysteries so we canw sather it's safe or not. so for me, no, i would not get on it until we know. >> yang: what advice would you give to the traveling public? >> oh, thble traveling p, the internet has blown up with this. the traveling public is already searching and make their own decisions. they're being smart consumersi and voting their feet. they're all asking, how do i find out if my plane is one ofth e and can i rebook, get off, or cancel? >> yang: mry sciavo, former inspector general at the tansportation, thank you very much. nk you. >> woodruff: we continue our
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look now at migrants crossing the southern u.s. border, and the policy decisions affecting their journey. amna nawaz traveled to mexico, and the san luis port of entry, where families from central america and mexico are facing months-long wait to enter the >> nawaz: for thousands of ts on their way in or ou of the united states, this is a temporary haven-- the casa del migrante shelter in san luis rio colorado, >> we give the, we give them medicalttention when they need it, and they can spend up to three nights here. >> nawaz: martin salgado ames' family has run this shelter for decades. >> until a few months ago, the majority of the population that came to these shelters were men, mainly men. 95, 97% were men. the families were in mexico in their homes and the father went to find a job to send money, but this started to change drastically when violence and unemployment started to
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increase. then, entire families started crossing. >> nawaz: they come mostly fromg honduras atemala, he says. but some are from other parts of mexico, like carmen and her kids: four-year-old alison, and two-year-old edwin, from guerrero, mexico, 1,800 miles away. her sband, she says, has bee working in the u.s. for almost a year. she's struggled to provide for the family alone. >> ( translated ): i want to cross to the other side, because they say that you can ith no problem. nothing happens. sobe came so i could pass an with my husband and work with him. we want to have money and a house. that's what we want. >> nawaz: carmen came to the shelter to feed and bathe her family, and wash their few clothes. she'll then walk her kids an hour back to the sidewalk camp they've called home for the last seven >> ( slated ): where i slept before was a tarp and a mat tha. they gifted it's very cold. and yesterday three came and gave me a tent that i'm
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going to sleep in with my kids. >> nawaz: u.s. officials talk often about the increase in illegal border crossings, not the growing back-up of families waiting to enter legally. this is a line of more than 250 families, over 1,000 people long, sheltered under blue tarps during hot days and sleeping on a freezing sidewalk overnight. many have been here for months,o an are from mexico. the u.s. port of entry is just a feyards away. more families join the line every day. >> no exacto, three or four families. >> three or four families. >> nawaz: added every day? and how many families get to enter every day? >> on average, one. >> nawaz: one family a day. whoever is first maintains this list. >> the last name of the family, and how many kids. wn nawaz: we make our way the line, talking to family after family. how many kids does he have? >> three, and the other family, three. >> nawaz: oh, there's twoes famiiving under here.
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mario says he and his family fled violence in guerrero. rutio and josefina are also from they want a er education for their four kids. >> como? >> freddie! >> y tu chiquita? >> diana! >> nawaz: his two sons were actually born in the u.s. after the family entered illegally years ago. so, wait a second, two of his kids are u.s. citizens? >> yes. >> nawaz: and they're still? making them wa >> yes, because the rest of the family are from mexico. >> nawaz: while we're there, family number 34 is allowed into the u.s. port of entry. sothe guys you see in the orange back, they were actually part of a mexican federal agency that doehumanitarian work. they go and they help those families who are waiting in line to get process and escort them up when it's their turn. they're taking a family up right now that's been waiting for weeks possibly months in that line. in response to our questions about the ce of processing milies, a u.s. customs and border protection spokesperson cited "capacity" issues, saying they "process undocumentedxp persons asitiously as possible, without negating the rcency's overall mission" which
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includes "counter-ics, national security, facilitation of lawful trade," all requiring a "careful balance of our resources and space." but immigration advocates, like laura belous of the arizona- based florence project, worry the slow pace of legal entry, may push people to cross illegally instead. >> when i talk tclients about the reasons why they come. the first thing that they talk about is the harm. and the harm that was so severe that reay coming to the united states was a last resortn terms of having safety. our clients often report thatth 've suffered severe harm along the way in terms of assaults in terms of robbery.ey but ake that trip because they're looking for safety. >> nawaz: carmen, meanwhile, is stuck. she can't go home. but she also can't afford to wait in the line much longer. >> ( translated ): i only have 200 pesos left, but i'm going to bufood soon. i don't have any left, because food is expensive here. and i don't know if i'm going to have enough for tomorrow. >> nawaz: do you kw what
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you'll do if you run out of money? >> ( translated ): i want to cry. sometimes my kids ask for thgs and i keep telling my son that i don't have any money, don't ask me for atething. my dau she understands, but my son, he starts crying because all wants is his cereal and milk. i am all by myself. >> nawaz: can you tell me about this? at the shelter, martin says all he can do is try to ease their journey, wherever it may lea >> they stand right here and they pray, and they... >> nawaz: what do they pray for? >> to cross. and for their lives, life. >> woodruff: such a powerful story, amna. you were there at the border. how typical is what you found at this one bordeoncrossing loca saw it last summer when wegoft
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were iel paso. u.s. officials were standing at if international boundary keeping people from entering becae of caacity issues, and an inspector genal report found they're doing what's called metering, limiting the ymount of people who can enter the ports ofen . and we know there is a trump administraon official policy that asks legal asylum seekers to stay in mexico. they can't come into the u.s. this is in place in two ports of entry and they sid they will expand it across the border in the coming weeks. >> woodruff: you showed some scenes of what it's like for these people who are waiting, living in tents. obviously the mother being emotional there. tell us more about what these people are going through. >> you know, this bacup, judy, is basically taking a vulnerable population and making them more what we couldn't show you, but what they did tell us, is what happens when we're no there. often the kids are sent out to beg more money during the day. at night a lot of the women are forced to prostitute themselves to get money tkio feed theids and make ends meet.
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they can't afford to live inli o like that for very, very long. the big takeaway is what we found on both sides of the border, the system isn't workino for anyone,u.s. officials who are trying to secure the border without enough resources to do so and t not people on the other side, the thousands and thousands of families, thste ajority of whom are not a criminal threat to t u.s. who want to cross the border. so the question right now that both of those groups are aing is what can we do about it with what we have, and what arein lawmakers to do about it to try to change the system to work for everyone. >> woodruff: it is a side of the story we don't get to see often enough. it's so important to do this reporting. amna, thanks very much. >> thanks, judy. >> woodruff: high school students and their parents know
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all too well just how intense the competition for college admissions can b but, today's announcement from federal prosecutors was still a shocker. they arrested and charged 50 people across the u.s. for participating in a bribery and cheating scam to get students into elite schools. the case was called "operation tersity blues." as william branghas us for our weekly education segment, "making the grade," the scheme allegedly included wealthy parents-- among them, well-known actresses-- college coaches, and a dishonest college admissions counseling pgram. >> brangham: the scheme revolved in large part around a college prep business, often referred to as "the key." the government said the company's founder, william singer, helped students eat on standardized tests, and paid roughly $25 million in bribes to college athletic coaches so that hds could enter college w fake athletic credentials. in some instances, the students didn't even play the sport.e to mask aud, some students faces were actually photoshopped
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onto another athlete's bod two well-known actresses-- felicity huffman and lori laughlin-- allegedly paid into the scheme for their children. among the schools targeted were yale, georgetown, stanford, and u.c.l.a. here's how andrew lelling, the u.s. attorney in massachusetts, characterized the case: >> this case is about the widening corruptioof elite collegadmissions through the steady application of wealth, combined with fraud. every year, hundreds of thousands of hard-workin talented students strive for adssion to elite schools. as every parent knows, these students work harder and harder every year, in a system that appears to grow more and more competitive every year. and that system is a zero sum game. for every student admitted through fraud, an honest, genuinely talented student was rejected. >> brangham: for more on this,ff i'm joined by y selingo. he's been covering higher ed in
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america for 20 yea, including for the "chronicle of higher education," as well as in three of his own books on the topic. welcome back. >> great to be here. >> brangham: this is a jaw-dropping bribery scandal. i am gob smcked by the complexity of this. e, seems the bribery falls into two categories hheating on athletics and that role in admissions, and cheating on standardized tests. can you explain how cheating on the testing works? >> they got dtors notes to allow students to take the tests by theelves with proctors that were paid off. the proctors hadme sdy else take the tests or they corrected the exam so students would get higher scores. the scores were reported to the universities who didn't know who who actheually tookest. >> brangham: so obviously a higher test score helps you geth into sls no matter what. so the second part of this is the bribing of athletic coaches and the creating of these soted of phony athletic resumes. can you explain this?
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>> this was amazing to me, cause many of these students didn't even play the sports they were purported to play and tye were recruited for. every year these coaches, and these are at high-level institutn, in some cases at division. >> one institutions, they're recruiting athletes staing in their sophomore and junior year, so for these students to not have to play these sports and then to get in under that pretense of those sports i think was absolutelshoing and amazing to me. and athletes are given tips in admission. all these colleges have to full teams, right? they need a starting ntcher the baseball team. they need rowers on the crew team, so they need to fill these spots. so every year athletes are gien advantages in admissions, and clearly these students wer as well. >> brangham: how significant is that advantage? i mean, for people who are notar famiith this, the role, if you really are star athlete, can you get into a school that would traditionally be out of your league? u. yes, yo can many of these schools are basically the athletic director or the coaches come to the
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admissions team and say, these are the studentsreally want. now, will they accept the bottom of the bottom in terms of academics, some schools will not. other schools will and just basically say, we'ive them academic support while they're here. but bacally every other part of their application could be aetty minimal, but as long as they havethletics on it, it really does help. >> brangham: one of theto details youched on, i find it so striking, this was the example in yale. this was a young woman in southern california who did n't play soccer. this was -- the guy william singer helped set up a phony athletic profile, sort of pretending that she played on a very competitive team in southern california. they then bribed th yale socr coach $400,000 to recruit this student, even though the coach knew the student had never even put her foot on a ball. >> ama i can't imagine what these other athletes on the team thought, but more so, there was probably an athlete or twon the recruiting system for yale that didn't get in because this student or these students got in that's not only true at yale but
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at these other institutions. the u.s. attney talked about it at a zero sum game. in admissions, to honest, i think many more students are not admitted who are qualified becae, you know, the admissions rate at some of these places is like 8% to 10%, but in athletics, you're really competing against one or two other people, so in those casesh i think ey probably took a spot from somebody. >> brangham: at its core really, this is about welthy parents who are trying to buy in some wys evemore influence for their wealthy children, right? >> what's amazing to me is tha in some cases it wouldn't really matter where these kids went to college, right? they have the means, the financial means, but also the connections to live a great life because of their parents no matt where they go. so it's kind of shocking that they really wanted that piece of paper from an elite college, because in many cases it wouldn't matter where they went. and what was interesting to me about the act and the sats that at many elite colleges -- >> braham: the standardized
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tests. >> the standardized tests, at many elite college, incluthng university of chicago last year, they're diminishing the use. they went test-optional, where students don't have toubmit test scores. at many colleges i have followed over the years, they use the standardized tests as a check-in. they're more interested in highr school dt lum and high school grades and other parts of the application. so the fact that they spent so much money on standardized tests thinking that would get them into college, in many ways they were mistaken. >> brangham: criminality aside, and we can't ehasize how much this is breaking the law with the prescribes that -- the bribes that were paid, doesn't this strike you this is also an inctment of the cut-throat nature of college applications. >> we'reeeing this more. the seats are scarce at selective colles and universities. more people every year try to get into them. they represent about one-third of application every year, even though they only represent 18% of students most of these colleges some he competition to
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get into them is great. yet we know from research that 't many ways it doematter where you go the college, it matters how you go to college.e and beingally engaged in your studies and extra extracurriculr tivity, getting internships and other types of activities matter more, but yet we want to get into these colleges because arce.ow the seats are sc we're worried about the future of the economy and the future of our children. we want to make sure that they have all the same privileges h that wd. so every year more and more people are trying to get into ese colleges. we see this in our application total. everyone is up like 8%, 10% every year, and they're getting tens of thousands of applications and admitting in c maes fewer than 10% new york some case fewer than 5% of plicants. >> brangham: as we see, people are turning to devious means to try to get in.a >> exly. >> brangham: jeffrey selingo, thank you so omuch. >> it was great to be with you.
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>> woodruff: and we'll be back shortly, with the story of a black, jewish woman fighting to save lives on the streetof chicago. but first, take a moment to hear from your local pbs station. it's a cha
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>> woodruff: this week, newshour's facebook watch show, "that moment when," features tamar manasseh, the founder ofk" "m mothers and men against senseless killing. manasseh tells us how she is able to n people over to her cause using her background growing up as a jewish woman of color on chica's south side. >> what does it feel like to have the international media storm chicago on its worst days with the high number of sho >> i don't feel anything. i think the mayor should feel somethin i think the superintendent ofli
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should feel something. people like me, who are out her, every ho are trying to make the difference, who are making the difference, who doee the work, wehat our efforts are actually doing something, even if the international megna doesn't ree it. it's not about that. it's about the lives that you save. when i leave here, i'm going to go home, i'm going to put on some warm clothes, and i'm going to head to the block, because tonight we're having a sukkah soiree. there's this idea. if we could find a way where bae thingsoing to happen, if we know that bad things are happening between these twoio warring fa, you send some moms over there, and you send some moms over there, and we just sit there. and we have, hands down, the best sukkah on the south sido.of chic no one would ever expect to see jews of all colors dancing to "hava nagila" played by a jazz band on a street corner, in the middle of the 'hood, yut that's wh're going to see tonight. being ound a barbecue grill,
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it's going to give us some time to talk, to get to know each other. it takes time for food to get ready, so while we're talking, food's going to be cooking. you're going to get to know mego and i'g to get to know you, and then once the food comes off the grill, we're going to be mid-conversation. so you aren't going to just wala away, e we're having a good conversation. and then, you know what? tomorrow you're going to come back and we're going to do it again. and then you're going to come the day after, and we'r going to do it again. and that's what built community around that barbecue grill and t arout corner. that's what did it. it was food and good conversation and genuine concern. it is the way that i bring people together. it is the way that i bridge the gap. the most jewish thing that i can do is sit on a corner and make sure that people are treated justly. and make sure that they ve food. and make sure that everybody is treated with respect and dignit it is part of tikkun olam, it is a crack in the world, and if you see the crack, you have to try to repair the crack. it's up to you to try to repairw the
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that's what it is. everybody else sees problems. i see cracks. >> woodruff: you can watch all episodes of our series on facebook @thatmomentwhenshow. and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again right here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> babbel. a language program tant teaches h, french, german, italian, and more.r >> consullular. >> american cruise lines. >> bnsf railway. >> the ford foundatig . workinth visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide.
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>> carnegie corporation new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement international peace and security. go >> and with the g support of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was mass le by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh >> you're watching pbs.
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- [narrator] expxplore new worlds and new ideas through programs like this,bl mad to your pbs stationne thr from viewers like you. thank you. - hello i'm pa kerger, presi. our goal in public television is to bring you a wide array o perspectives and voice in history, science and the arts. s today we a pleased to present henry louis gates jr. uncovering americas which celebrae of our most impactful historians. professor gates is an award winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist and cultural critic who helps us discover our shared history by revealing across time and plaons. this insightful look at an extraordinary man is made possible becauof your. thank you so much. - professor gates, well he's an amazing, amazing guy.


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