National Politics

US asylum seekers face long waits or risky crossings

As the sun dipped toward the horizon on Thursday, Kevin Ajtun, 16, hunched slightly and pulled his fake leather jacket tight. It was far colder on the US border than on the small farm he and his father had left near Mazatenango, in southern Guatemala, 22 days earlier. There, they grew beans, tobacco, corn and peanuts. An ongoing drought and low crop prices had made life hard, but it was the repeated robberies by a criminal gang of their meager earnings -- "every time we sold our crop