We’re Helping Deport Kids to Die

If other countries were forcibly returning people to their deaths, we would protest. But because we Americans worry about refugees swarming across our borders, we help pay for Mexico to intercept them along its southern border and send them — even children like Elena — back home, where they may well be raped or killed.

.. Obama spoke with the Mexican president to discuss how to address the flow, and Mexico obligingly imposed a crackdown to stop these refugees long before they could reach the United States. Mexico deports a great majority of them to their home countries, and the United States is thus complicit when they are terrorized, raped and murdered.

.. Immigration is among the knottiest of challenges, and there is a real risk that welcoming some children creates an incentive that results in other children endangering their lives by undertaking a perilous journey north.

.. historically, Central Americans had a refuge in southern Mexico, and it is unnecessary and cruel now for the U.S. to take the initiative and work so diligently to cut off that safe haven.

.. It’s not that Honduras or El Salvador are tyrannical regimes; rather, the problem is that criminal gangs are out of control. The homicide rate in El Salvador last year, more than 100 killings per 100,000 people, represents a mortality rate of roughly the same magnitude as during the country’s brutal civil war in the 1980s

.. These are not primarily economic migrants. These are refugees, deserving protection. Instead, the United States and Mexico are colluding to send people like them back to the gangs that want to kill them.

.. gang members barged into his home, held his family at gunpoint and said they would kill his two small children unless he paid protection money. So now Emilio is hiding in Mexico with his wife and two children, and getting death threats.

.. Mexico doesn’t seriously screen most people for refugee status before sending them back. In the U.S. in 2014, only 3 percent of minors detained were deported; in Mexico it was 77 percent

.. Indeed, by some accounts, the gangs keep an eye on the buses arriving in San Salvador and unloading deportees, who become sitting ducks.

.. Secretary of State John Kerry rightfully criticized Kenya’s plans to close its Daadab refugee camp and return refugees to Somalia, but the U.S. does something parallel when it works with Mexico to deport refugees to Honduras and El Salvador.

Javanka vs. the Klossy Posse

But while Will & Kate & Harry & Meghan are seen as a unit, pulling for Mother England together, Jared & Ivanka & Josh & Karlie are seen in opposition, in a public tug of war over American values.

Even as Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are inside the White House, helping to shape policies, Josh Kushner and Karlie Kloss are outside it, protesting against some of those policies.

It’s a perfect illustration of the riven state of the country right now, where all manner of Americans — from the Kushners to my family to the characters on “Roseanne” — are glaring at each other over an insurmountable fence.

.. Ivanka found that she could not reignite her father’s more liberal impulses, any hope that the pair could be a moderating influence vanished. Members of their old moneyed set began to dismiss Jared as “dumb” and “arrogant,” as several put it to me, and Ivanka as complicit, the label she got after Scarlett Johansson played her on “Saturday Night Live.”

.. one Vogue.com headline sniped in July, “It’s Time to Collectively and Officially Give Up on Ivanka Trump.”

.. The low point for the self-proclaimed daddy’s girl came a month ago when The Times reported that the president might be using his chief of staff, John Kelly, an adversary to Javanka, to push them out and back to New York.

.. “It’s not like they could leave and all of a sudden you have this quiet life. Look at Don Jr.” At this point, being a Trump is less a good brand than a bad state of mind.

.. His crown jewel, a health insurance company called Oscar, was structured around Obamacare — the main thing Trump has been trying to explode.

.. Josh and Karlie, both about 6-foot-2, ambitious and private, also showed up at the gun-control march last weekend. Josh posted a picture on Instagram of Karlie holding a sign that read “Load Minds, Not Guns” and donated $50,000 to the cause.

.. (Tiffany Trump, for her part, liked a post on Instagram showing a guy holding a sign that said “Next massacre will be the GOP in the midterm elections.”)

.. Like Ivanka before her, Karlie has had some rough patches in her romance because of the severe pressure she faces from Seryl and Charles Kushner, the parents of Josh and Jared, to convert to Orthodox Judaism.

.. In a story in The Forward, Margaret Abrams noted that, of course, the Kushners would not have been pleased with two such “WASP-worthy girls,” but given Charles’s controversial past, “they can’t exactly complain about the shiksas treating Yom Kippur like a juice fast.”

Trump’s White House Is a Black Hole

The Republican Party is learning what should have been obvious from the outset: Mr. Trump’s chaotic personality can’t be contained.

.. combining it with the awesome power of the presidency virtually guaranteed he would become more volatile and transgressive.

His presidency is infecting the entire party.

.. The Republican Party once championed the principles of liberty and limited government, yet Mr. Trump is indifferent to them.

Republicans once sought to strengthen relations with Mexico; today they delight in antagonizing our neighbor. Not long ago, Republicans made outreach to Hispanics a top priority; today the signals that the president and his party send are that Hispanics are alien, unwelcome, nothing but trouble.

In 2012, Republicans defended Mitt Romney when he said Russia was our biggest geopolitical threat; today they are wholly untroubled by its effort to subvert the 2016 presidential election.

.. Republicans have long argued that human rights should play a central role in American foreign policy, from the presidency of Ronald Reagan through George W. Bush’s. Today human rights are viewed at most as an afterthought.

.. At the national level the Republican Party has become a destructive and anarchic political force in American life.

.. Rather than nourishing a sense of gratitude, he stokes grievances.

.. One White House aide, asked by The Washington Post whether John Kelly, the president’s chief of staff, could have been more truthful or transparent about the dismissal of the staff secretary Rob Porter, answered honestly: “In this White House, it’s simply not in our DNA. Truthful and transparent is great, but we don’t even have a coherent strategy to obfuscate.

.. All of this is antithetical to conservatism. On balance, Republicans are seeking to conserve very little

.. “Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

.. The Republican Party once prided itself as a defender of objective truth against postmodernism. Today, it has become the party of perspectivism — the view, articulated by Nietzsche, that all truth claims are contingent on a person’s perspective rather than on fundamental reality. “It is our needs that interpret the world,” Nietzsche wrote in “The Will to Power.”

.. the institutional expression of Donald Trump’s distorted and impulsive personality.

.. Party leaders who were once willing to challenge Mr. Trump, to call him out now and then, are now far more compliant and therefore far more complicit.

.. Mr. Trump was and remains the people’s choice — evidence that, while the president has accelerated the worst tendencies of the Republican Party, he is not solely responsible for them. He did not appear out of thin air.

.. Americans are longing for a more ennobling, less exhausting political leader.

.. people are tiring of the incessant conflict created by politics these days.

.. But as long as Mr. Trump is president, they will feel this way. He won’t change, and neither will the Republican Party. That’s how institutional corruption happens, from the top down.

Even now, Republicans are ignoring the storm clouds

Not so long ago, Republican leaders prided themselves on protecting middle-American minds from the liberal intellectual rot being spread by politicians and college professors they viewed as being hostile to law enforcement, contemptuous of constitutional traditions, indifferent to personal morality and accommodating to Russian tyrants. They claimed to be the intellectual heirs of Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk and William F. Buckley Jr. Now those same politicians debase themselves daily in service to Trump.

.. “I faced great pressure because of Russia,” America’s president told the Russians. “That’s taken off. I am not under investigation.”
.. As a storm gathers over Washington and the world, Donald Trump’s Republican Party remains complicit in his frenzied efforts to undermine the American institutions and established values that conservatives once claimed to share.
And while the clouds overhead are cause for all to be concerned, it will be the husk of a once-proud Republican Party that will be swept away first by the deluge that is sure to come.