tv PBS News Hour PBS March 28, 2019 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff.on he newshour tonight: a new wave of migrant families reaches the u.s. south border, stretching resources available to respond to those tekinlegal asylum here. then, a deal betwe trump administration and the taliban is on the horizon, but what will be the price of peace afghanistan? plus, generation z is off to college, and they have some serious ncerns about student loans. >> i feel like i'm scared of taking out loansust because the word "debt" is just very intimidating. >> woodruff: all tt and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs
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foundation. supporting scienceantechnology, improved economicor pence and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> carnee corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and curity. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing supporti of these instis: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the struggle over making the report by special counsel robert mueller public is
intensifying. it was widely reported today that the document is more than0 ges long. the disclosure brought fresh criticism of u.s. attorneywi generaiam barr. he issued a four-page letter summarizing some of ndings on sunday. house speaker nancy pelosi and other democrats said br's synopsis is grossly inadequate. >> no, thank you, mr. attorney general. weo not need your interpretation. show us the report, and we can draw our o conclusions. we don't need you interpreting for us. it was condescending. it was arrogant. and it wasn't the right thing to do. >> woodruff: barr says he will release at least a partial version of the report next month, but not by this tuesday, as democrats have demanded. meanwhile, president trump demanded that house intelligence committee chair, democrat adam schiff, resign, for claiming he trump campaign collud with russia.
according to barr's summary, the mueller report found no collusion. house minority leader kevin mccarthy, along with nine republicans on the intelligence committee, joined the president's call today. >> the idea that you would have a chairman of a committee of this nature. the work that is involved in this committee, that would lie to the amecan public, not apologize, but use the tactics of joe mccarthy to attack his own members. there is nothing that can come from this committee that can be trusted. >> woodruff: schiff stood by his past remarks today, citing a list of meetings between members of the trump circle and russns. and, house speaker pelosi defended schiff as, "a patriotic leader." s a small tankp that was hijacked by migrants off libya, has docked safely in malta, and five ringleaders have been arrested. the vessel initially picked up 108 migrants with plans to take them back to libya. but, some in the group seized
control of the ship and tried to force it to go to europe. maltese special forces took back control of the ship today and guided it to port. in saudi arabia, three women's rights activists are now free, temporarily, after ten months in prison. the associated press reports they were let go a day after nearly a dozen women appeared in court. they spoke of being physically and sexually abused by interrogators. the activists have pushed for the right to drive and other freedoms. back in this country, the u.s. house voted today to oppose the trump administration's ban on transgender people serving.n the milita the non-binding resolution passed along party lines. democrats called the policy "targe republicans said today's vote was really about sending mpaign messages. ey argued it out, on the house floor. >> today this house has a ance
to not repeat the mistakes of our past to move one step closer to that sacred promise, by telling brave trans men and women form that they cannot be banned from military service because of who they are.f >> were to really be discussing the substance of the issue rather than a messaging bill, then we could talk about the high standards for military service without special commodation and there would be a substantive discussion. that's not what we're doing today. >> woodruff: transgender troops, the administration's policy bars people who have undergone gender transition, fromnlisting in the military. those already in the ranks must serve in their original, biological gender. the policy is being challenged in court.tr presidenp says he is backing off his budget request to cut federal funding for the special olympics. the proposal drew heavy
criticism from democrats and on social media. the education department made the same proposal in the two previo budget years, but it died in congress. the california horse racing board use of whips in racing statewide. that follows the deaths of 22 horses at santa anita park. argued whips had nothing to do with the deaths. after public comment, the board must vote again before the measure takes effect. the c.e.o. of wells fargo, tim sloan, is stepping down after less than four years on the job. he took control amid revelations that employees opened millions of bank accounts, fraudulently, to meet sales goals. he vowed to clean things up, but more scandals upted, and wells fargo ultimately paid a $1 billion federal fine. and, the u.s. commerce
department has cut its estimate of growth at the end of 2018 to an annual rate of just 2.2%. the initial estimate w 2.6%. despite that, wall street managed modest gains. the dow jones industrial average was up 91 points to close at 25,717 the nasdaq rose 25 points, andd the s&p 500 adn. law enforcement struggles with the gring number of migrant families at the u.s. southern border. what happenshince peace is ed in afghanistan? the lawsuits against opioid producing drug companies. and, much more. dr >> wf: we turn now to the u.s.-mexico border, wheregr federal imion officials say they are overwhelmed by the masse influx of families
seeking asylum. amna nawaz begins our coverage, with reporting and production help from cronkite news at arizona pbs. >> nawaz: in el paso, texas, migrants detained by the u.s., crammed under bridge behind fencing and razor wire. officials say a nearer detention ce is past capacity from a surge in arrivals-- mostly families and children. on twitter today, president trump accused mexico of "doi nothing to help stop the flow," and he threatened to "close the southern border." some of his top aides are echoing the president's message. in el paso on wednesday, the customs and border protection commissioner, kevin mcaleenan,wa ed that his agency is at a breaking point. >> with the flows nd these levelsncreasing, combined with the lack of bed space for our partners, it mea that we will be continued to be challenged to provide humane care for those in our custody. >> nawaz: overall, the total number of people crossing the u.s.-mexico border is still well below historic highs in 2000,
but they have crept up in recent months. customs and rder protection says 3,700 people were detained monday alone, the largest one-day total in a decade. they estimate this month's total could reach 100,000. c.b.p. has responded by moving some 750 staff from internal checkpoints, down to the border. but officials say there still isn't room for everye detained. as a result, many families and children, pending immigration hearings, are being released at bus stops or churches-same so-called "catch and release" practice president trump has condemned. volunteers who work with migrants say they are struggling to keep up. reverend raul salgado ol pastor at rion church in tucson, arizona >> the numbers, when we started back in november, december, started off with 50 a day. now we're up to li 100 a day, so they've just been going up higher and higher. >> nawaz: yesterday in honduras, homeland security secretary
kirstjen nielsen spoke with central americaner leadabout the violence and instability forcing people to flee north. she appealed for help. >> we are facing an unprecedented regional crisis. the united states has gone from facing a crisis, to an emergency, to an almmplete shattering of our system.: >> nawficials from honduras, guatemala and el salvador have now agreed to joint police operations to fight human trafficking and smuggling. and, mexico announced it is sending federal forces to its southern border, as more groups make their way north. meanwhile, with little action from lawmakers, and the white house calling for extreme measures, these families and children remain stuck in the middle of a political battle. bob moore has been covering this story for "texas mon he joins me now over skype from el paso, texas. bob, welcome to the "newshour". we can't say this iough -- volu't the problem here, it's demographics, right? there's not more people coming er the border,eth just more
families and children. from what you've seen there, how is thcreating a capacity issue for immigration sytem? >> so much of our border security infrastructure and the debate we have around border security is trapped in the 1990s. the truth is that the infrastructure that we have, particularly the boarder patrol cr not equipped to handle families coming s. it's a force that's been built to stop people from sneaking across, not dealing with large families coming across to surrender. that system has become overwhelmed and, in turn, as the numbers increase, the volunteer network in el paso that's housed these migrants, and fed thm, has also become overwhelmed. >> the images are coming from the border. you have been tweeting out some of them. a couple before the press conference yesterday that cbb commissioner. give me the backstory open the
photos. >> within 100 yards of the press conference was thew bridgh just a main port of entry into el paso from ico, and there are hundreds of people, mostl families, being detained under that bridge out in the open. there are milar blnkets scattered everywhere. you see the desperate faces of people who don't knosw wha happening to them now, and that's something completely new. 's the sign of the capacity of the boarder patrol being exhausted. they have no place fothe people as they process them so they're holding them under an international bridge >> have you ever seen anything like that? >> it took my breath away. again today, when i walked over the bridge into ciudad juarez,d you coar babies crying underneath.
that is a completely new experience. nothing like we've seen before. >> let me ask you about th legal ports of entry because i've walked across the bridge with legal asylum seekers. there was a process where they were limiting the nuer of people from entering. is that still a problem? e issue.a hug there are still agents at the top of the bridge that are prepared to turn back anybody who doesn't have the prper documents and basically put them in a long line in w juarez tit for their turn to come seek asylum that system has ground almost to a complete stop now.le they'ring very few if any people across, and one of the changes that the commissioner announced yesterday, which is the redeploymt of 750 people from ports of entry to help with this migrant processing issue, is going tmake problems eve worse because a lot of the agents they're deploying are the people who would process asylum seekers at the port of entry. so the administration repeatedly says the way to seek asylum is
to come to a port of entry and make your requests in compliance with the law.ss that prohas stopped. there's essentially no way for people to do that on the southwest border right now. >> repmeorter: so le ask you about that. there has been talk about a new processing fantcility potelly being built over several months in el pass o. you mentioned several solutions presented. it's hard for people to understand how cbp which is under d.h.s. and is one of the best-funded ageies in the government, how this is the only option for them, which is people behind a fence and razor wire under a bridge. >> it is not the only op it's the option they've chosen. in 2016, we had another large inpaux in el to, and one of the things that cbp did athe time was to set up a processing center at anotr port of etry where people were staying in tents for a while but cared for. there are other options available, and i don't want to
t this all on the administration either. this is a complete i political failure at everyv leel -- congress, the administration. we've had five years of warning that this was coming, and we've done nothing in termsf response to prepare boarder patrol to handle this, to adjust laws to handle this flux of families. it's a massive political failure. >> reporter: a few seconds left, bob. what do you expect to see next? will the numbers continue where they are, go down, up? >> as the weatr warms, we' going to see more and more people making the journey north from central america. as it stands right now, about one in every 200 guatemalans and one in evry 150 hondurans has already crossed this border in the next six months. those are staggering numbers that i don't think the american people fully comprehend and, as i said, as the weather warms, 'hat's traditionally the migratory season, see a
growing influx. the commissioner mentioned yesterday 100,000 people had been taken into custody this month. i could see that doubling tripling in the coming months. >> reporter: bob moore joiusng from el paso, texas. thank you very much. good to talk to you. >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: the u.s. is currently negotiating with the talin to find an end to the america's longest war. tonight, chief u.s. negotiator zalmay khalilzad is in europe, oiefing allies and trying set up a meeting that will include the taliban and the afghanovernment. but a new u.s. government report out today asks a fundamental question: is afghanistan ready for a peace deal, anthe american withdrawal that would come with it? here's nick schifrin. >> nick schifrin: for more than
17 years, american troops have fought, and more 2,400 have died to bring peace to afghanistan.ms have struggled to find stability, and transform a non-a existent bracy into a functioning government. and now that the u.s. is pursuing its most serious ever talks sopko has a warning.an >> it's impofor the policy-makers now to plan now for what we call the day after. don't wait until then. if you fail to plan, it's a plan to fail. >> schifri sopko is the special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction, a government-funded watchdog whose job is to criticize government spending. in washington, he's controversial.as hence dubbed the "donald trump of inspectors general," and is unabashedly outspoken. >> i go back to what, you know, president truman said. and i'll paraphrase it. if you're inspector neral and you're doing your job and you want a friend in washington,o buy a dog.
>> schifrin: today, his office released a report that lays out the risks of any peace deal. top of the list, insecurity. for civilians, afghanistan has never been mordangerous, and 45,000 soldiers and police have been killed since 2014. the u.s. provides indispensable training and firepowere goal of the peace talks is to agree with the taliban on a u.s. withdrawal. >> a lot of support for the afghans over the last few years have been from our advisors, as well as our firepower from mitary operations. that is essential for maintaining what, in essence, is a stalemate. if that disappears, you run the risk of the country even getting worse. >> the afghans cannot afford the government they currently have. >> schifrin: of the government's
$5 billion domestic budget, more than half comes om international donors. afghanistan's defense budget is $6.5 billion, of which $4.9 billion is paid by u.s. taxpayers. >> if there's a deal and we don't continue to supporovthe afghannment financially, as well as technically, but financially, the government will collapse. >> risthree, reintegrating taliban fighters. over the long term as many as 60,000 insurgts will hand in their >> schifrin: over the long-term, as many as 60,000 armed insurgents are going to need to hand in their weapons, and will expect jobs, training, and even land. >> there is a tendency we have seen to think that, miraculously, the problems will disappear once there's peace. if you want sustainae peace, you have to focus on, how do you reintegrate, disarm, and reintegrate those taliban ck into afghan society? >> schifrin: risk number four, protecting afghanistan's gains. of 320 parliament seats, 63 are
held by women. 6,000 women are police, soldiers, judges, or attorneys. nearly 70,000 women are teachers, and tens of thousands of girls are in school-- all unthinkable under the taliban. ambassador zalmay khalilzad, who leads the u.s. talks with the taliban, promises to defend those gains. >> we will speak loudly and early for the values that we have. the values of human rights, value of freedom of the press, women's rights. >> schifrin: b the taliban enshrouded and often executed women, and the peace talks have faced bipartisan skepticism. today's taliban negotiators promise a more liberal policy toward women. sopko isn't sure, and says the risk is not only humanitarian,in but alsocial. >> i've talked to u.s. legislators. i've talked to parliamentarians from other governmf ts. and noneem have expressed annterest in supporting an afghan government, even if peace is declared. if that afghan government is
going back to taking rights away from women and cldren.ri >> sch the u.s. has spent $130 billion reconstructing afghanistan. but the government remains one of the world's most corrupt, and any peace deal could limit oversight of financial assistance. >> the afghans don't have, in many cases, the will, at the ministerial level, or the capability to protect that money. and if that's the way we go, then you might as well just pile up the dollars and burn them on the streets of kabul. that's how useful it wilbe to us and to the afghan people. >> schifrin: sopko's language is designed to alarm. and while he and so many want afghanistan to find peace, he warns, peace carries risks that can imperil all the money, and all the lives spent for afghanistan's ture. for the pbs newshour, i'm nick schifrin.
>> woodruff: new york state today filed what was called the most comprehensive lawsuit yet against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and members of the sackler family.le the sa are the founding family that owns purdue pharma, which manufacturers oxycontin, an opioid sold and abused throughout the crisis. more than 400,000 people have died in the past two decades from overdes involving legal and illegal opioids, according to the federal government. at least three dozen states d more than 1,500 cities and counties are also taking opioida maurers to court. purdue pharma is directly in the bulls eye because oxycontin was so widely used and its marketing practices have been blamed. as william brangham explains, the latest lawsuit comes as purdue pharma considers filing for bankruptcy. >> brangham: the concern is that
if purdue pharma does file for bankruptcy, the ability of all those states and cit recover damages will be greatlye delayed and re by perhaps billions of dollars. in filing her state's lawsuit today, new york attorney general titia james seemed to target that very issue. i the suelf explicitly seeks to claw back money from members of the sackler famy, alleging they fraudulently transferred profits from purdue toem lves. >> this lawsuit contains detailed allegations about the sackler f attempts to hide the vast fortunes they collected at the expense of actual lives. in an attempt to shield these fortunes from families whose loved ones have been killed by their products, we allege that the family has elicitly transferred funds from purdue to personalrusts so that they are potentially outside to have the
reach of law enforment and our efforts to seek restitution or penalties. >> in a >> brangham: in a separate development, earlier this week, purdue and the sacklers settled with the state of oklahoma for $270 million, just months ahead of what would have been ate vised trial where that state took purdue to court. barry meier has been following all this closely. he wrote a book about purdue pharma called "pain killer: an empire of deceit and the origin of america's opioid epidemic." separate development barry, welcome back to the "newshour". let's start talking, firs noff, about thw york case. the attorney general in new york is arguing that members of the sackler family somehow siphoned off profits fr purdue, stashed them away anda tht that constitutes fraud the way they did it.pl n her argument. >> william, this is all part of a legal chess game going on around the bankruptcy issue. frst, purdue laid down a marker by saying, well, we're getyting
sued b so many people, we may have to seek bankruptcy and, thus, everyone suing us is going to be leftut in the cold. that spurred the attorney general in oklahoma to strike a quick sethttlement witem and now new york is coming in and saying, wait a minute, not so fast, we're going to stake a claim that the sackler family has been siphoning off money. so if you try to file for bankruptcy, we're going to g after them and claw back this money for restitution. >> so the argument ca that se is, if you know your company is facing this avalanche of lawsuits, and it might go bankrupt, you're not allowed to siphon money off from tha company. >> yeah, there's a general concept called, i believe, fraudulent conveyance. i'm not a lawyer, but if you're, like, facing an avalanche of litigation, and you say, you know, cousin joe, take 100 million and stick it in the
bahamas somewhere, that doesn't likely help you at the end of the day ift comes o you did that. >> we should say purdue vigorously denies the charges calling them basis. the sackler family also called the suit a misguided attempt tol place where it does not belong. but the new york storage's case targets th sackler family also with regard to their behavior with regard to the manufacturing of the drug. what ae they air do youing in that regard? >> what we're seeing in all the lawsuits and the new york attorney general kind of went another step further is the claim that te sackler family was intimately involved in the operation of purdue, that they directed some of the ilegal marketing activities o purdue or knew about them and benefited from them. obviously, the family absolutely denies that. they said we didn't know anything wrong was going on, an
we moved quickly to stop it, but, you know, the litigation, is you know, pulling up documents that are raising questions about that and, ultimately, we will find out, hopefully one way or another, just what they knew and when they knew it. >> with regards to the oklahoma settlement, $250 million, you seem to be arguing that oloklaha ed at this potential looming 's justtcy and said let try to get what we can now before the company goes chapter 11. is that accurate? >> yeah, absolutely. i think the attorney general of that state made it very ear in his comments that they were prompted by purdue -- y know, this specter that purdue used of filing for bankruptc in fact, two to have the purdue family members were slated to be sed in new york city about a week ago. those depositions were put off and, lo and behold, the settlement sort of materialized quickly after that. and i think he was quite clearth
, you know, yes, they could have won a lot more money potentially if thy went to trial, but they went observe the bird in the hand type theory. >> barry meier, as always, tha you very much. >> it's a real pleasure, william. thank you. >> woouff: from the mueller investigation to health care, it has been another busy week in washington. but how are those political debates resonating outside theit nation's c? for some clues, we turn to connie schultz. she is a pulitzer-prize winning columnist, and journalism professor at kent state university in ohio. and, chris buskirk. editor of the conservativean journawebsite "american greatness," and based in phoenix. >> woodruff: the amount of hello to both of you, and welcome. let me just first ask you so our audience knows, how do you hear from americans? how do you communicate -- how do
you run into ordinary peple? chris buskirk. >> well, i tell you, the way a lot of people do, i guess. i mean, as you be, judy, i'm on the road a lot so i see people all ov the country just in the ordinary course of doing business, talking to people, interpersonal relationships, that sort of thing, but i alsro get aemendous amount of email every day, which i try very hard to answer all of it. but between twitter and social media and email, especially email still, which is, actually, i think great, i her from a lot of people every day, and it just -- it's helpful to keep -- you know, kind of keep me listening to what other people are saying who are not doing politics for a living. >> and, connie, what about you? pretty much the same. i live in the city ofleveland, do my own grocery, go to the drugstore, stand in line a lot, run ino a lot of people everywhere. i get a lot of email. i can't possibly respond to all of it. my facebook page is a personal page but open to the public, and
have a lot of pulic discussions there virtually every day, so that's one of then ways i keep touch with the rest of america. >> woodruff: i think it's importtht for us to heaat as we have these conversations. let's talk about the mueller report. as you know, it wa released this past weekend or at least a very brief summy of it. chris buskirk, the white houseys e's been vindicated, democrats are saying i want to see the whole thing. where do we stand on this? >> the president has beenic vied. for two years we have been hearing the constant drum beat, donald trump isu theppet of putin and all the sort of things that spin out from that. there have been all sorts of irresponsible talk about how the president is going to wind up in jail, he's going t bepeached because he does the bidding of the kremlin, an mueller, you know, with a team of -- you know, he took a lot of flack because his team of lawyers was mostly democrats, was mostly people who had donated a lot of
money to hillary clinton, and these were people who spent, almost two yead they just couldn't find any he have had of that. so now some of the rhetoric we'r, hearill, you know, we haven't seen the whole report. look, these are people who are t juing to figure out what they can say to try to keep the egg off their face.o >>druff: connie schultz, what does it look like to you from cleveland? po well, i don't think that part of the rese is very helpful. i'm a journalist, so i likely want to see the fulreport. i think we should be asking for that and i think the public deserves to see it. i will say most people who are reaching out to me are not talking about mueller. ists on something act both sides care about. the number one issue i'm hearing about -- well, it's beeng onoing but especially this week again >>is healthcare. oodruff: that raises the question, chris buskirk, and you touched on this because you're now hearing from the president, from republicans today in the congress, that jaurnalists, t any elected officials who are out there talking about this for the last few years, making suggestions that thereas some sort of conspiracy, should be
punished for it. i mn, is that what you think voters want? >> well, it depends very much on soe voters you're talking about. there are certainle voters who do want it. i think what people want is for journalists to uphold the standards that they have tol everybody that they adhere to and that is not just to repeat stories they hearrom operatives at fusion g.p.s. or from operatives of a political campaign. in other words, go do the digging, and that's w you build trust with people. i think what would go a long way is the people whsgot this tory wrong is just to do what a normal person would do and say, u know what, i think i got this wrong, maybe i got out ahead over my skis.se sorry, mthat one and i will try to do better and i think that will go a long way toward restoring trust in the media in general. >> woodruff: connie, is there a moment for ccountability or what? >> i think there's always a moment for reflection in our
reporting and i thi i see it every day in our journalists. i ink it's really dismissive to suggest that the number of tournalists who have been working on this for a long time, investigating it at great length, who go through check and double-check andhe rec, all the while being demonized by this president who is calling them the enemy oo the pee and putting them in potential peril and physical danger -- i've talked to more than one editor of news organizations who tell us some of their more prominent journalists have had to have security because of violent threats against them. so if we talk about the rol of journalists, let's start with that, because this is unprecedented in our country. i'm really proud to be a journalist, couldn't be prouder of the profession right now. there are always times for us to be reflective. we make mistakes and i don't pow any other profession in the country that soublicly admits them quickly and responds to them and corcts them as journalists to. >> woodruff: well, there's so much to ask about this and wie going to have you all back to continue that conversation, but iquickly want to pivot, chris,
to healthcare, because that's isat the president did t week. he came right out of th gae earlier in the week and said we're going to make the republican party the party of enalthcare. his justice deparis now seeking to completely overturn the affordable care act. is thia good ve, a smart move on the part of the administration? >> well, i guess i characterize it this way, it might be. i look at this as an opportunity for the president to really do something that is substantive on the policy front and something thatpeaks directly to the middle and working class and some of the pressure, the economic pressure that they have come under, and if he does more than just tweet about this --an i hope he does -- if he really turns thiinto a art of his we are election campaign and says, look, we didn't like obamacare, we didn't like the affordable care act, we overturned it, but we didn't t just doat, here's how we're going to make healthcare better,
more accessible, more affordable, more dependable, that could be a winning issue for him and i hope do.es it >> woodruff: connie schultz? ell, his own republican leadership in ngressishes he wouldn't do this again. yeat i found sign instructive -- instructive lastr -- i'm married to sharrod brown, and ii campaign last year, there were a number of focus groups broken into men and women. i sat in and what iund interesting is the movement we eaw close to election day, the men were prtty much entrenched, but women were starting to peelf off ovmily separations, because they are mothers ander grandmothe-- not suggesting you have to be that but that was a number of them -- but also healthcare. healcare was number one. many of them were healthcare workers, many were the priry gare givers for family members who need healthcare and they were scared to death about what was go healthcare of their families and people they care about. and interesting, too, i want to
remind all journalists always, not a single trump voter we asked throughout the campaign was on twitter. >> woodruff: again, a subject we're going to come back to. it's a big one, healthcare.ie cochultz, chris buskirk, we will be having both of you back. thank you. >> thanks a lot. , judy. >> woodruff: the amount of student loan debt americans hold is at a record high. and much of it is shouldered by nmillennials-- people now their late 20s and 30s. which means that young people what'salled generation z-- those born after 1996-- are facing some tough choices about how to pay for college. as economics correspondentaul solman learned, some are taking lessons from what's happened to their ol r brothers and sisters. it is part of our weeklyma
segment,ng sense." >> reporter: this is the famous gate here of columbia. so you'vall visited here? >> yeah. >> reporter: students across the country are clamoring to get into to schools like columbia university, where barely 6% of applicants are accepted, despite its cost: $74,000 a year. including room and board. more than $10,000 greater than the typical u.s. household earns in a year. >> for us, my family, college expenses are not the easiest thing to pay for. >> reporr: for gen z, the post-millennials, today's college prices may just be too high. >> going to a c.u.n.y. has beme an option. >> reporter: c.u.n.y. meaning a city university of new york. >> right. >> reporter: the cost at c.u.n.y.? a mere $500 a year in tuition, and students can live at home. personal finance guru bethem kobliner had aed a group of economically-diverse new york city gen z'ers, all high schoolers-- part of the first wave of gen z to reach college
age. we crossed broadway to barnard a women's college, long tied to columbia. price? about the same. >>his school is $70,000 a year. >> reporter: $70,000? >> $70,000 a year. and... r: $70,000... $70,000 a year. now, that's room, board, tuition and... and a car? ( laughter ) but don't just look at the sticker price, because schools ayser financial aid, barnard's v.p. of enrollment jennifer fondiller. >> barnard, and many schools, are offering tmendous amount financial aid. we meet 100% of need, which means that if your family can' afford the cost of barnard, we're going to help you and meet that need thatou have. >> reporter: but to "meet that need" also requires most students to borrow. two-thirds are saddled with loans, and their debt has passed $1.5 trillion, half again the total owed on credit cards. that's 45 million borrowers, averaging more than $30,000 ch.
the story at barnard? >> our students do take out loans, but we really lit and maximize the loans that they can get out, take out. >> do you give guidelines, like how much debt is too much debt? >> there's not necessarily a cap, but we'll talk to them about what did they feel comfortable with. >> reporter: 15 years ago, millennials' top worry about applying for college was getting into their top choice. today, gen-z'ers say it's student debt y >> how many are worried about taking on student loans? reporter: half. who is not worried? and is that because you come from a family whe there's enough money already, or... ? >> no. it's because, i've alrdy implanted in my mind that i have la work as hard as i have to in order to have a schip that will get me through college. >> reporter: so student loans are just not an issue. it's not that you're not sred them, you're just not going anywhere near them. >> i feel like i'm scared of taking out loans just beca "e the wobt" is just very intimidating. ab reporter: kobliner, who writes and speakt youth finance, admires gen z's caution hoen it comes to debt, but warns
against becomingc. >> i don't think student loans toe necessarily a horrible thing, but you wantick with federal student loans. y reporter: so, federal student loans, because theve a much lower interest rate? >> much lower interest rate. >> reporter: given the price and lle opportunity cost of coe, however, the money you could make by working instead, why not just go to school online? which ca in tuition.s cheaper or, skip college altogether? >> people always talk about the college experien, and how important it is. i feel like, if you want to develop socially, going j collegt being on a campus and being, like, puttingsi yourself in ation where o u have to get to know people, is extremely vitalur life. >> you could also be with people who could give you knowledge or, like, feed off your knowledge, and you can feed off their knowledge. b that's kind of the main reason for me, is with other people, just, like, you know, to connect. >> i learnetter when i'm in a classroom setting than being at home on my computer. because when i'm at home on my computer, i can be on my phone
and i can just, you know, get distracted so easily. i can have, like, the lesson being, like, on my computer screen, right there, and have netflix on the side. >> reporter: indeed, the pewch reseenter reports that fully 59% of gen-z'ers aged 18 to 20 were enrolled in college, compared to 53% of millennials in 2002. in 1986, the number was only 44%. e main reason for the rise seems obvious. college, though pricier than ever, has been a historically good investment. on average, grads make $300,000i more over theitime, even after subtracting tuition and other costs, than their diploma-less peers. but will it continue to pay ing forward? hey, paypal founder peter thiel, th,gh himself a stanford gr has offered students with good ideas $100,000 to start a company instead of going to school. >> would you accept it? >> for me, not just going ahead and take a risk becaus, what if i fau know?
what am i goinneto do then? to, like, to have a plan b, like, a back-up plan, just so, like, you know, if all else fails, and it doesn't ut. >> reporter: a prudent plan b, because older gen z'ins, like thosur unscientific sample at least, are economically hard- nosed, and shooting for the top tier in an economy they've seen become more steeply bifurcated their entire lives. >> a lot of us in r age want a job that's high up there, that maybe the dream is to beco rich or wealthy-- or the same word, but higher middle class. >> reporter: anxiety about what economic class they'll wind up in is increasingly evident in the actual college classes students choose. so-called stem majors have soared in recent decades, while an english degree, with which something like 10% of students unapologetically graduated in my day, is down to 2%, prompting the question: is a degree from a liberal arts carlege like baworth it economically these days, especially if it's in the liberal arts?
>> humanities, social science areas, they open doorsuse it is not just about the specific skill that you're learning, but it's all the other pieces that go into what that major might be. like in the classroom setting. to be able to collaborate. to be able to be a good public >> reporter: fondiller's humanities pitch sounded good to me. i focused on art history and sociology, and to be a proudjo english and there's plenty of supportay for what she s three-quarters of employers say soft skills are as important as technical ones. but to our gen z'ers... >> i don't rlly like believe that. >> i didn't really buy her argument either, because, if i'm someone who is going to hire two pele, one who is an englis major and one who has a major that's necessary for the field, i'm going to choosthe one who is necessary for the field. >> reporter: lauren, you agree with that? >> yeah, i agree with that. i love certain literature that i ive read at my school, an just would love to continue doing that, but at the end of
the day, it doesn't really lead anywhere. >> reporter: and so, gen z seems to be thinking about college costs a lot more skeptically-- some would say me "realistically;" others, "more narrowly"-- than those who came before. for the pbs newshour, this is economics correspondent paul solman, reporting from new york. ef >> woodruff: next,eybr own's "now read this" book club conversation with our march author. it is part of our regular series on the arts and culture, "canvas." >> brown: around the world, women have developed a special superpower, the teility to genelectric shocks and hurt men. our march book club pick "the power" is dark,nsettling, imagining where the gender balance and world order are upset but not quite as you think. the author joins me to answer
some of the questions ourad s sent in. thank you for being a part of this. >> great to be hae. tell us you're after. superpowers, everything flips, right? >> what if women and not men were the sex who could do more physical harm, who could cause more pain, do we think that, in thosece circumst women would remain peaceful and loving and kind and loy, or do we not? and let's have a think about how those situations will play out , and ally went into the book thinking i want to know, too. i want to know what would hap in these circumstances, and then just following the logic of the characrs and the the plot through to work out what i thought the answer was. >> okay, so then you created this world, our readers have read -- let's go to some of their questions. >> why did you decide to write the novel entirely in the present tense? >> the book would only work if it seemed like it was right now. so people say to me, when is it set? i said day after tomorrow, basically. it's going on. you ow, i started out
thinking, oh, maybe i'll set it in the '70s. but, actually, no, ytou nee be able to go, would my life be different today if this happened today? >> yeah. and, you know, that remains a very pointed question. >> and in the book, things sort of evolve. you give us a kind of countdown and countup. so we're sort of in time.go >> something ig to happen at the end to have the book but you're not going to find out what it is for a while. >> second question. what influence did margaret atwood or thean hdmaid's tale have as you wrote this book? >> y can see people thinking about the famous example handmaid's tale, what are you writing and what was her influence? >> rim writing science fiction, feminist science fiction which contains octavia butler and others, book i loved reading as a young woan. they seemed exciting to me. they were inviesing alien worlds
where there was no gender in. a way, feminism is a science fictional enterprise. >> and margaret atwood herself, you were telling me before we started, became a mentor. >> i was fortunate. i was paired up with margaret atwood in a menring program. sometimes these things take, sometimes they don't, but we became good friends, and we thlked about the ideas in the book. e wasn't a single point where i would go, yes, that's what margaret told me, but we had long conversation over a couple of years about what we thought might happen and whatpr thsure points are in the world. >> were you inspired to write "te power" by evnts in your own life? if you were, do you find a writing protest to be a sort of catharsis? >> all writers hear that. there was never a point where i actually electrocuted someone at will, but like a lot of women, i have experienced cat calling or the reverse when people say horrible things to
you, and i think probably every woman, this is what the #metoo movement is about is everyone has experienced something. i think, for me, in a funny way, the more significant thing was i had experienced the world ofas storiea woman, where women are quite passive and men get to be active, and i nted to write something where that would turn over and see what happened. and in that sense, it wasn't a really, like, oooh, i long to be able to electric cute a man. and i should say women in the novel can also eletctric e women. >> yes. i really wanted to write a story where women in a very natural way would be able to get those tremendous fight scenes. from that perspective, i think it was very enjoyable to wri. >> okay. we had a number of readers send in a version of the same question. we paired a couple the >> are you in favor of women solve the problem? is it not just an act of revenge
d can we not look beyond? >> how do you see your book as r catalyst female advancement vis-a-vis the violence you project through women in power? >> this requires us telling people w haven't read it that things do not end up rosy once women have this power. >> well, my view is women are not any better than men, not any worse either. >> yeah. i think men and women morally tend to be about the same. for me, female advancement comes from recognizing equality. that is all i am talking about is to say le's noteat women as if they are some special category o like, morally good human who have to be kind of tended to and cherished and looked after because they can't really look after themselves and, you know, the hard jobs of the world really have to go to the men because the women are so tender.r i stand the irreducible
complexity of the human sirit where each of us conins vulnerability and toughness, each of us contains love for children and the ire to do violence or to be selfish, all of these things exist in all us, and if we insist that only one geer gets one of those, we are cutting off one of our limbs. >> so let's finish there for now. we're going to continue our conversation and all of it will be online on our now read this facebook page.me for now le say thank you naomi alderman for joining us. >> well, thank you so much for having me. >> before we go now, our pik for april, we're back in the real world, i think, but there are still plenty of gender politics. growtopixpis an eoseé of one of the dark sides of silicon valley's tech industry about journalist emily chang.i we hope youl read along, check out our facebook page for sights from our authors and other readers and do join
our book club, now read this, a partnership with the "new york times." >> woodruff: so much good to read. >> woodruff: continuing our focus on immigration issues, tonight's "brief but spectacular" sheds light on a family's struggles and triumphs in tucson, arizona. now an 18-year-old freshman at naomi de la rosa was just nined years en her mother was deported and banned from the u.s. for ten years. her mother's crime? entering the country illegally a decade earlier. >> when my mom got deported, i was nine years old. she crossed, i think, the 1990s. she was always working daily at the motels, cleang rooms and everything, and she would get home like around six in the afternoon, and she would still have to clean and cook stuff. she's about to finish her ten-ye in 2019.e next october ever since my mom got deported, it was really tough. i had to be the mom . i had to be the student, the best friend, the sister. like, everything. e
>> with my litother, he was only four at that time and he would cry every nor my mom. when i was nine, i did get pression, but not really anxiety. more depression because i would cry ery night, and especiall with bobby, i would sleep hugging him and stuff.as itad. but then at school, i would h alwae a smile on my face because i didn't want people to like ask, "oh, what's wrong?" and then me having to cry ain over my mom and tell them the same story over and over again. my father is already 86, and i remember when i was small, he would take me to mcdonald's to eat, and like, he would get me the little toys and everything. but now i'm like, like, we switched roles, because he was like my caregiver, and now i'm his caregiver. oh my god, my graduation, it was so much fun! okay. so i took pictures with my best friend, damian, then we went out toat with my family. i was going to surprise my dad.
he was in the bathroom washing his hands so he can eat his chicken nuggets or whatever. my dad was being brougn the hallway with my little brother and i was like there waiting at the door, and then, i popped up and, wd h my diploma uff, and then my dad started crying and then i was crying. he's l proud of you." i'm so but like, in spanish. he was like, "oh my god, [inaudible]." speaking spanish ) and i was like, "i did it for you." it was a memorab night. what made it so emotional waspl that, many p when their families are separated, they, like, theyet into depression and they lose, like, their mentalities and like, "oh, i need to keep up with this stuff. oh, i need to do this. oh, i ed to do that." and, like, for me, i, like, surpassed all those obstacles and like, i graduated. and now, i got a full ride to the u. of a. so it's li, "oh my god, i did it." it's nice. who did you do it for? >> my mom and my dad. i did for them. my name is naomi de la rosa, anthis is my "brief but spectacular" take on family.
yeah. >> woodruff: and an update to this story: naomi's elderly father passed away after this interview was recorded. tonight's piece was produced with help from reporter perla trevizo, who covers border and immigration issues for the "arizona daily star."ca yowatch her "brief but spectacular" take on our website, atne www.pbs.orhour/brief. >> woodruff: and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and we'll see you soon. >> babbel. a language app t-lt teaches ree conversations in a new language, like spanish, french, german, italian, and more. babbel's 10-15 minute lessonsar available as an app, or onine. more information on babbel.com. >> hotel mumbai.
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