Nearly 51 Million Households In The United States ‘Can’t Afford Basics Like Rent And Food’

This article was originally published by the economic collapse 

If the U.S. economy is performing well, then why can’t 51 million households in the United States “afford basics like rent and food”.  A stunning new report that was just put out by the United Way ALICE Project shows that the gap between the wealthy and the poor in this country is perhaps the biggest that it has been in any of our lifetimes.  In some of the wealthiest areas of the nation, homes are now selling for up to 100 million dollars, but meanwhile tens of millions of families are barely scraping by from month to month.  Many believe that this growing “inequality gap” is setting the stage for major societal problems.

In general, the U.S. economy seems to be performing better than expected so far in 2018, but the ranks of the poor and the working poor just continue to grow.  The following comes from CNN

Nearly 51 million households don’t earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone, according to a study released Thursday by the United Way ALICE Project. That’s 43% of households in the United States.

The figure includes the 16.1 million households living in poverty, as well as the 34.7 million families that the United Way has dubbed ALICE — Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This group makes less than what’s needed “to survive in the modern economy.”

If 43 percent of all Americans cannot even afford “the basics”, what does that say about the true state of the U.S. economy?

Of course the biggest reason why so many American families are struggling is the lack of good jobs.

In America today, 66 percent of all jobs pay less than 20 dollars an hour.

66 percent.

Just let that sink in for a minute.

You cannot support a middle class family on 20 dollars an hour.  As a result, many Americans are working more than one job, and in many households both the mother and the father are working more than one job.

Housing costs account for the biggest item in most family budgets, and the fact that housing costs have just continued to soar is putting a huge amount of financial stress on hard working families.  Just today we learned that there is a tremendous rush to buy homes as mortgage rates rise rapidly

Today, according to the latest Freddie Mac mortgage rates report, after plateauing in recent weeks, mortgage rates reversed course and reached a new high last seen eight years ago as the 30-year fixed mortgage rate edged up to 4.61% matching the highest level since May 19, 2011.

But while the highest mortgage rates in 8 years are predictably crushing mortgage refinance activity, they appears to be having the opposite effect on home purchases, where there is a sheer scramble to buy, and sell, houses. As Bloomberg notes, citing brokerage Redfin, the average home across the US that sold last month went into contract after a median of 36 only days on the market – a record speed in data going back to 2010.

If you will remember, we witnessed a very similar pattern just before the subprime mortgage meltdown in 2008.

History is repeating itself, and we never seem to learn from our past mistakes.

Housing prices in some cities are absolutely obscene right now, and many working families find themselves completely priced out of the market.  That has some people asking one very simple question

Many San Francisco renters I met while reporting an article on affordable housing lotteries had responded to the region’s housing crisis by putting up with great discomfort: They crammed in with family; they split apartments with strangers. Some even lived out of their cars.

Why, lots of readers wanted to know, didn’t they simply move away instead?

Yes, some people are moving, and this is something that I plan to do an article about very soon.

But for most hard working families, moving across the country simply is not an option.  Moving out of state is very expensive, it can be very difficult to find a similar job in an entirely new area, and many families are very dependent on the social networks where they currently live…

People who struggle financially often have valuable social networks — family to help with child care, acquaintances who know of jobs. The prospect of dropping into, say, Oklahoma or Georgia would mean doing without the good income and the social support. Those intangible connections that keep people in places with bad economies also keep people in booming regions where the rent is too high.

In the end, moving is just not an option for a lot of people.

We need to structure our economic system so that it works for all Americans – not just a few.  Unfortunately, it is probably going to take another major crisis before people are ready for such a restructuring.

And such a crisis may not be that far away.  In fact, even Pope Francis is now warning about the dangers of derivatives

In a sweeping critique of global finance released by the Vatican on Thursday, the Holy See singled out derivatives including credit-default swaps for particular scorn. “A ticking time bomb,” the Vatican called them. The unusual rebuke — derivatives rarely reach the level of religious doctrine — is in keeping with Francis’s skeptical view of unbridled global capitalism.

“The market of CDS, in the wake of the economic crisis of 2007, was imposing enough to represent almost the equivalent of the GDP of the entire world. The spread of such a kind of contract without proper limits has encouraged the growth of a finance of chance, and of gambling on the failure of others, which is unacceptable from the ethical point of view,” the Vatican said in the document.

I have written about derivatives extensively in the past, and Pope Francis is 100 percent correct when he says that they are a ticking time bomb which could absolutely devastate the global financial system at any moment.

We don’t know exactly when it will happen, but we do know that such a crisis is coming at some point.

Sadly, most of the population is completely asleep, and they will be completely blindsided by the coming crisis when it does finally arrive.

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Big Pharma now "owns" and controls nearly all university medical research funding

Image: Big Pharma now “owns” and controls nearly all university medical research funding

(Natural News)
The pharmaceutical industry has been heavily scrutinized in the past for trying to buy and influence the favor of medical professionals like doctors. But now that flat-out bribery has gotten harder to pull off, the industry has found more insidious means of keeping their fingers in the pot: Funding medical research at the university level. Why spend all that time and effort trying to persuade an established healthcare provider, when they can just win the favor of young professionals to-be? Big Pharma’s influence on university medical research simply cannot be ignored — especially when they’re the ones funding most of it.

As The Daily Sheeple recently revealed, Big Pharma’s funding of university research has been on the rise for the last 30-some-odd years. Ever since the 1980’s, pharma has provided more funding for research than the NIH has given grants. Back in 2011, Big Pharma outspent the NIH on medical research funding by eight billion dollars.

Big Pharma secures its future by influencing the young

Funding medical school research efforts gives the pharma industry multiple opportunities to not only influence the outcome of said research, but to influence the attitudes of students as well. A study from 2011 has shown that the more interaction students have with Big Pharma, the more favorable their views of the industry are. As the researchers from Harvard wrote in their conclusion:

Undergraduate medical education provides substantial contact with pharmaceutical marketing, and the extent of such contact is associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism about negative implications of these interactions.

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In other words, the more contact medical students have with Big Pharma, the more likely they are to view the industry in a positive light. And perhaps more importantly, the less likely they are to believe that the industry is corrupting them. This notion is corroborated by survey data, which showed some disturbing results.

Students overwhelmingly admitted that they believed research and materials provided by Big Pharma are likely biased. However, this belief did not prevent them from also saying that information provided by pharma reps was a “valuable part of their education.”

Gifts, funding and more buy support from students

Ironically, many students also feel it is appropriate for them to accept gifts from industry reps — yet many also say they won’t be influenced by pharma’s presence, even though their peers might. The cognitive dissonance is strong here, folks.

Research has shown that doctors who get gifts — even just a meal — from pharma reps tend to have different prescribing practices than those who do not. Do you think the same would apply to students? The team found they do view the industry more favorably when they have more contact with pharma hacks.

The Harvard team also found that over the years, medical students’ contact with the pharmaceutical industry has been on the rise. Two recent studies found that 100 percent of medical students had contact with a pharma representative on at least one occasion.

In 2008, AMSA (American Medical Student Association), collaborated with The Pew Charitable Trusts to come up with a “conflict of interest scorecard.” Less than 15 percent of schools got an A or B — which means the remaining ~85 percent of schools had a detectable level of conflict, thanks to Big Pharma.

In addition to maintaining a high level of interactions with students, Big Pharma is one of the primary sources of funding for medical research — how is that not a major public health issue? Big Pharma creates drugs for their own gain, and little more. Independent science is truly integral to actually protecting the health of the people, yet this kind of discreet corruption is happening at universities around the country.

Learn more about what’s real and what’s fraudulent at

Sources for this article include:



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WATCH: Raging Cop Nearly Shoots Innocent Man, Falsely Accusing Him of Stealing Candy


Disturbing security camera footage has been released that shows an off-duty police officer pulling out his gun and threatening a man at a convenience store because he suspected the man was attempting to steal a small pack of candy.

For years, The Free Thought Project has highlighted the reality that police officers are allowed to pull their guns on citizens, point them at their heads, and get away with it—something the average citizen cannot do. They are allowed to do so under legal “qualified immunity” statutes, which keep government officials from prosecution for acting in their duties as officers of the peace, even when they are off-duty.

Jose Arreola, a 49-year-old printer from Bellflower, California, likely was not thinking about qualified immunity when he attempted to buy a pack of Mentos candy at his local convenience store. He simply approached the cashier, placed the item on the counter, and then paid for it with a $20 bill.

After paying for the candy, Arreola reached across the counter and put the candy in his pocket. That last part is probably the only thing the off-duty officer from the Buena Park Police Department saw—Arreola reaching across the counter when the clerk’s head was turned away, looking at the register’s screen.

The unidentified officer, who appears to be of Asian descent, reached into his pocket, removed what appears to be a Glock handgun, slid a bullet into the chamber of the weapon by racking the slide, and then pointed the loaded and ready-to-fire gun at the man.

“Hey, give that back. I’m a police officer…put it back! …Police officer…put it back!” the officer yelled.

Arreola immediately defends his actions by saying in a startled voice, “Oh! I paid for it… I just paid for this!”

The officer then turned his attention to the clerk as he put his gun away and said to the store’s attendant, “He tried stealing that from you…Get your cash and leave…Did he pay for this? He paid for it? Are you sure?”

It was at that point the officer knew he screwed up and immediately apologized. The clerk confirmed Arreola, who was dressed in a business jacket, had indeed paid for all of his items. “Uh-huh,” the clerk responded when asked if he paid.

My apologies sir, my apologies,” The officer said.

However, Arreola does not accept the officer’s apologies. He told the Orange County Register:

“It made me mad. At the same time, it scared me because I thought he could shoot me…It’s been a month and I still can’t shake it…It was traumatic, the whole incident. (And) I grew up in Santa Ana. I’ve been shot at before.”

Predictably, the Buena Park Police Department is not commenting as Arreola is certainly suing. The BPPD released a statement regarding the incident:

“There is an internal investigation being conducted into the incident. Because of this investigation, and the possibility of legal action, we will not be commenting on the incident or the investigation at this time.”

Had Arreola been carrying a weapon, something which is allowed under California State’s concealed carry gun laws, the entire situation could have transpired very differently, especially if Arreola believed the man behind him was going to rob the store.

But it is not the first time a police officer has pulled a gun on an unsuspecting citizen. As TFTP has documented on several occasions, when an officer “feels threatened,” he or she will often pull out their weapon and point it at people. That is something that, when done by the average citizen, is called “brandishing a weapon.”

How and why police officers are allowed to do it is anyone’s guess and has left countless critics shaking their heads in disbelief. When officers are allowed to do things average citizens are not allowed to do, many people, like Arreola, feel an injustice has taken place. Arreola’s civil rights were definitively violated, but now it is up to the court to decide whether or not he should receive any money for having his Fourth Amendment rights violated.

DASH cryptocurrency and The Free Thought Project have formed a partnership that will continue to spread the ideas of peace and freedom while simultaneously teaching people how to operate outside of the establishment systems of control like using cryptocurrency instead of dollars. Winning this battle is as simple as choosing to abstain from the violent corrupt old system and participating in the new and peaceful system that hands the power back to the people. DASH is this system.

DASH digital cash takes the control the banking elite has over money and gives it back to the people. It is the ultimate weapon in the battle against the money changers and information controllers.

If you’d like to start your own DASH wallet and be a part of this change and battle for peace and freedom, you can start right here. DASH is already accepted by vendors all across the world so you can begin using it immediately.

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The Vatican Has Paid Nearly $4 Billion To Settle For Children Harmed By Sexual Abuse

Next Story

The reality of child molestation by the Roman Catholic Church has surfaced time and time again, and yet, somehow, it continues to happen. If you watched the movie Spotlight, perhaps you have an idea of just how things are going down. But let’s break it down to date.

While you can’t put a price on the innocence of a child, you can put a price on just how much the Roman Catholic Church has paid out in lawsuits over the never-ending epidemic of child molestation wreaking havoc in its ranks.

According to Jack and Diane Ruhl of the National Catholic Reporter, who decided to research this particular topic, since 1950, the Vatican has spent a disgusting $3,994,797,060.10. That’s nearly $4 billion to keep things hush hush. That number may even be a bit conservative, as we cannot know for sure the agreed upon “under the table” amount. 

The figure is based on a three-month investigation of data, which includes a review of over 7,800 articles from LexisNexis Academic and NCR databases and information from Reports from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops were also used. 

If the amount of money dished out was divided evenly amongst the U.S.’s 197 dioceses, each one would get almost $20 million.  An incredible amount of cash from hard working people who support the good faith and intentions of the Church — people who are parents to little boys being sexually abused — is being used to cover up unfathomable crimes executed by priests.

In the early nineties, a monk who worked at the Vatican opened up to The New Yorker, admitting: “You wouldn’t believe the amounts of money the church is spending to settle these priestly sexual-abuse cases.” By 1992, U.S. Catholic dioceses had given 400 million dollars to settle hundreds of molestation cases. That was a shocking chunk of change then, and that figure has only risen exponentially since. The men running the Vatican are well aware of the problem, and yet they refuse to provide justice.

When Pope Francis addressed hundreds of bishops on the issue, he said:

I realize how much the pain of recent years has weighed upon you, and I have supported your generous commitment to bring healing to victims — in the knowledge that in healing we too are healed — and to work to ensure that such crimes will never be repeated.

His words of “generous commitment” only further show just how tightly knit the Church truly is — worried more about reputation than morality.

“The people he was talking to are the people who moved the pedophiles around to prey on kids,” said John Salveson, a 59-year-old Philadelphia businessman who was abused as a child by a priest. “If you gave me 100 years to pick a word to describe the U.S. bishops’ reaction to this crisis, ‘generous’ would never make the list.”

Related CE Articles:

Another Huge Vatican Linked Pedophile Ring Has Been Exposed

Ex-Chief Advisor For The UN Child Labour Program Arrested For Pedophilia

Multiple Catholic Priests Expose The Practice of Satanism Within The Vatican

UK Government & Catholic Church Claim Children Can Consent To Sexual Abuse

Terry McKiernan, who runs, noted that Francis overlooked the fact that many dioceses around the country haven’t disclosed the names of abusers, and furthermore, continue to lobby against reforming statute of limitations laws that shield priests from prosecution for crimes from the past.

David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, was once optimistic that Francis would push for change in how the Church handled the scandal, but has since lost hope. “There’s nothing he could say that would be helpful, because Catholic bishops have said it all before — ‘I’m sorry, we didn’t know, we’ll do better.’ We’ve heard that for decades,” he said. “This is a pope who has refused to take steps to expose one predator or punish one enabler. . . . He could simply defrock, demote, discipline, or even clearly denounce just one complicit bishop. He refuses, not one.”

Spanning many hundreds of years, children have suffered at the hands of child predators who remain safe in the authority and integrity of an honorable faith, yet organizations, investigators, reporters, etc. continue to raise awareness, while the Catholic Church continues their fight to block bills that would extend the statute of limitations for reporting sex abuse.

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Americans waste nearly 1 lb. of food daily

A new study shows that healthier diets are associated with higher amounts of food waste.

Here’s an nugget of information for you to chew on the next time you’re scraping plates or cleaning out the fridge: The average person living in the United States wastes nearly a pound of food every day, which works out to around 30 percent of the average American’s daily calories. Perhaps most curiously, it’s the people who eat the healthiest that throw away the most food.

In a way, it’s not surprising. A healthy diet contains more fruits and vegetables, which are prone to spoil faster than processed or pre-packaged foods. But it does suggest an unfortunate disconnect between what we choose to put into our bodies and our awareness of its effect on the environment, because every time we throw away food, we’re also throwing away the resources that went into growing and making it.

This finding comes from an open-access study published last month in PLOS. Its authors wanted to investigate the relationship between consumer food waste, diet quality, nutrient waste, and embodied agricultural resources, something that hasn’t really been done before. The authors compiled data from the 2015 Healthy Eating Index, the US Department of Agriculture’s What We Eat in America database, and food waste data. The food waste amounts were self-reported by individuals and do not include restaurants. From the study:

“This analysis finds that US consumers wasted 422g of food per person daily, with 30 million acres of cropland used to produce this food every year. This accounts for 30 percent of daily calories available for consumption, one-quarter of daily food (by weight) available for consumption, and 7 percent of annual cropland acreage.”

Twenty-two food groups were studied and, of these, fruits and vegetables represented by far the biggest portion of discarded food (39 percent). The next most discarded group was dairy (17 percent), followed by meat (13.5 percent) and grains (12 percent). Other foods such as oils and salad dressings, eggs, nuts, seeds, potatoes, and soup were under 3 percent each.

So, while American shoppers strive to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet, they also need to figure out how to waste less. It’s a conundrum that the study authors agree must become a priority. From the conclusion:

“Food waste is a critical component of environmental sustainability that, until now, has not been rigorously analyzed alongside diet quality. The current results suggest that simultaneous efforts to improve diet quality and reduce food waste may be critical. Practically, increasing consumers’ knowledge about how to prepare and store fruits and vegetables will be an essential component to reducing food waste.”

Home cooks can benefit from reading up on ways to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into more dishes, using up produce that’s reaching the end of its edible life, and preserving or freezing leftovers. There are lots of resources available here on TreeHugger (see links below this article). When I think of my own kitchen, there are a few suggestions that come to mind immediately:

– When fruits are starting to go bad, I start baking. Crisps and cobblers, muffins, and pies are all great uses for fruit that is overripe. Make applesauce with bruised apples; just cut out any rotten spots.
– Soup is a wonder food for using up veggies, beans, grains, and leftover canned tomatoes.
– Stock is like soup, except for vegetables that are even further gone.
– Spinach shrinks down to nothing; add it to anything you can, like dal or curry, soup, eggs, smoothies, hot pasta sauce.
– Use that freezer: As soon as you realize you won’t be able to finish whatever you bought, put it in the freezer. Depending on what it is, you may have to blanch it first (green beans) or puree it (herbs, blended with olive oil and frozen in an ice cube tray), but the freezer is a true food-saver.

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FDA finds glyphosate weedkiller residues in nearly all grocery foods, but has spent years hiding test results from the public

Image: FDA finds glyphosate weedkiller residues in nearly all grocery foods, but has spent years hiding test results from the public

(Natural News)
The two decades between 1994 and 2014 saw global glyphosate use boom from just over 56 million kilograms (123 million pounds) to around 826 million kilograms per year. Glyphosate is the world’s most popular weed killer and is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup product. In the United States alone, farmers douse their wheat, oats, corn and soybean fields in over 200 million pounds of this toxic chemical each year. Some spinach and almond farmers also spray it on their fields before the growing season.

Now, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by The Guardian newspaper has uncovered documents confirming that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has quietly been testing food samples to check for glyphosate residues but has not released its findings to the public. The Guardian notes that the agency has struggled to find any foods that have not been contaminated by this herbicide.

In an email to some of his colleagues, FDA chemist Richard Thompson noted, “I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal from home and there’s a fair amount in all of them.” He noted that the only food he had on hand that was not found to contain glyphosate traces was broccoli.

Even though the documents reveal that some of the foods tested contained 6.5 parts per million of glyphosate – well above the legal limit of 5.0 ppm – the FDA insists that these results don’t count, since the foods used in the tests were not “official” samples.

Back in 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) labeled the herbicide glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” and linked it to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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The IARC report noted:

Glyphosate currently has the highest global production volume of all herbicides. The largest use worldwide is in agriculture. The agricultural use of glyphosate has increased sharply since the development of crops that have been genetically modified to make them resistant to glyphosate. Glyphosate is also used in forestry, urban, and home applications. Glyphosate has been detected in the air during spraying, in water, and in food. The general population is exposed primarily through residence near sprayed areas, home use, and diet, and the level that has been observed is generally low.

The FDA insists that though it has discovered glyphosate residues on so many of the foods tested, these levels are low and are therefore not cause for concern. As such, they feel it is not in the public’s best interest to make their findings known.

Tracey Woodruff, a professor at the University of California San Francisco’s School of Medicine, disagrees.

“People care about what contaminants are in their food. If there is scientific information about these residues in the food, the FDA should release it,” she told The Guardian. “It helps people make informed decisions. Taxpayers paid for the government to do this work, they should get to see the information.”

Linda Birnbaum, toxicologist and director of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), warns that even low-level exposure to glyphosate can be very dangerous because we are exposed to many different sources of this chemical and its effects are cumulative.

Many natural health advocates have spoken out about the FDA’s cover-up of its test findings and the fact that it took 40 years for them to start testing for glyphosate residue in the first place. (Related: Discover where glyphosate might be lurking at

These types of findings reinforce the need for us all to take responsibility for our own health and limit our exposure to glyphosate by purchasing or growing our own organic, pesticide-free fresh produce.

Sources for this article include:[PDF]



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Watch: Arctic Monkeys debut new music at first US show in nearly four years

Arctic Monkeys stopped into The Observatory in San Diego on Wednesday for their first show in nearly four years. The U.K. rockers are touring in support of their upcoming album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, which arrives on May 11.

In lieu of dropping singles to herald the record release, the band chose to debut four new songs live. As Consequence of Sound reported, Arctic Monkeys busted out Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino tracks “Four Out of Five,” “One Point Perspective,” “American Sports,” and “She Looks Like Fun.” They also live debuted b-side “You’re So Dark” and a new arrangement for Suck It and See song “The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala.”  

Tame Impala’s Cameron Avery–who collaborated with Arctic Monkeys on the new album–joined the band on “Four Out of Five” and “She Looks Like Fun,” the latter coming during the three-song encore. You can check out the video of “Four Out of Five” and more above or see below for more footage of Arctic Monkeys’ first show in four years.

Arctic Monkeys will tour the States this summer and into the fall. Click here to browse AXS for tickets to select Arctic Monkeys shows.

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Trump Left Nearly 4,000 Applicants For Central American Refugee Program Stranded

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s decision to end a program that helped Central Americans legally residing in the U.S. bring their children here left 3,800 people, mostly kids, who were already being processed for admittance stranded in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras ― three of the countries with the highest murder rates in the world.

The Trump administration quit conducting interviews for the Central American Minors program at the end of January, as part of its broader efforts to cut the number of refugees admitted into the U.S., but the number of people affected hasn’t previously attracted widespread attention. Nearly 4,000 people were still in the pipeline when the program ended and did not receive interviews, a Department of Homeland Security official confirmed.

There’s no guarantee that the people whose applications were scrapped would have eventually been granted protections, but it was highly unusual to not even continue considering them, said Jen Smyers, who leads policy and advocacy on immigration and refugees at Church World Service, a faith-based organization involved in refugee resettlement. In the past when the U.S. has closed refugee and parole programs, they have been phased out and those who started the process went through it to completion, she said.

“Usually the U.S. likes to keep our word,” Smyers said. “Usually we like to have a program that people can have faith in, especially when that program is to provide protection to children and individuals who are vulnerable.”

Osmaro, who requested anonymity for his family’s safety and will be referred to by a relative’s middle name, tried to use the program to bring his three children and wife to the U.S. from El Salvador. He’d left the country after receiving death threats, planning to find a way for his family to join him. He spent about $900 on the applications in February 2016 and had completed the process up until the final steps, including submitting DNA swabs to prove the children were his own.

Then Trump ended the program. Osmaro’s family wasn’t interviewed in time, and they’re stuck in El Salvador.

“It was a huge disappointment,” he said in an interview conducted in Spanish. “For me, my way of looking at this country — this is a country that offers its hand, that protects. I admire that. It offered its hand to me.”

Osmaro has considered bringing his family here illegally because he isn’t hopeful about other options for them. The journey would be dangerous, but he worries that his kids face greater threats to their lives if they stay in El Salvador. It would cost more than $15,000, however, which he can’t afford. Now he wishes he hadn’t applied in the first place, and spent the $900 he used to seek CAM protections for his family on other things for his children.

They’re taking away the ladder and then punishing people for jumping out the window.
Michelle Brané, director of migrant rights at the Women’s Refugee Commission

The CAM program, which former President Barack Obama created in 2014, was limited. People living in the U.S. legally — often under temporary protected status — could apply to bring their children who were under 21 and unmarried from Central America to the U.S. The child’s other parent and any children the child had could also be included on the application.

The program allowed Central Americans to come to the U.S. as refugees if they faced persecution in their native country, or as parolees if they were determined eligible for relief because of danger at home but did not meet the definition to qualify as a refugee. The program was relatively small — 3,378 people have come to the U.S. under CAM as of April 20; 1,914 of them as refugees and about 1,464 as parolees, according to the State Department.

The purpose was to create an alternative to children making a dangerous trip to seek asylum in the U.S. or crossing the border illegally, said Jennifer Sime, senior vice president of U.S. programs at International Rescue Committee, which helped many parents with their applications. 

“It is no exaggeration that the consequences for those seeking safety, and in the case of CAM — children — is life and death,” Sime said in an email

CAM program applicants still in their native countries could be under increased danger, experts said. Gangs notice when children go away for days for screenings, and their status as someone with family in the U.S., as someone who spilled information on persecution or just someone who tried to get out can make them a target.

Erika Lopez, a case worker at International Institute of Los Angeles who helped parents apply for the program for their children, said some of them told her their children had been threatened and extorted since their cases were closed.

She doesn’t know what to tell them. The Trump administration said it would send further instructions to individuals with pending applications who had not been interviewed, but they only received notices that their cases had been closed, Lopez said.

Many people don’t fully seem to understand or accept that the program is shut down, said Lisa Frydman of Kids in Need of Defense, or KIND, a nonprofit that largely works with children who come to the U.S. as unaccompanied minors.

Now they’re stuck, and the government is threatening those who seek help through other means, such as Central Americans who traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in a caravan to request asylum.

“They’re shutting all of the doors,” Michelle Brané, director of migrant rights at the Women’s Refugee Commission, said, using a metaphor of a house on fire. “They’re taking away the ladder and then punishing people for jumping out the window.”

This article has been updated with comment from Sime.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Saudi Arabia arrests nearly 1m people in four days


MEMO–The Saudi authorities said they had arrested 994,000 people between 18 April to 22 April, Saudi Okaz newspaper reported.

According to the paper, 14,467 people were stopped by the security agencies and border security forces regarding issues related violations of residency and labour regulations and attempted infiltration across the border into the kingdom.

The paper said 58 percent of those arrested were Yemenis, 39 percents were Ethiopians and 3 percent from other nationalities.

The paper added that the Saudi security forces have arrested 640 people while trying to exfiltrate from the kingdom.

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