The Amer­i­can Night­mare

The New York Review of Books - - Contents - Ja­son DeParle

The Far Away Broth­ers: Two Young Mi­grants and the Mak­ing of an Amer­i­can Life by Lau­ren Markham. Broad­way, 298 pp., $16.00 (pa­per)

Donald Trump’s cam­paign to de­ter il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion by sep­a­rat­ing chil­dren and par­ents at the bor­der be­gan with an Easter morn­ing tweet, af­ter Fox & Friends showed a car­a­van of Cen­tral Amer­i­can fam­i­lies trav­el­ing through Mexico to es­cape gang vi­o­lence at home. “NEED WALL!” he fumed. In the three-day erup­tion that fol­lowed, he blamed con­gres­sional Democrats, Barack Obama, and the Mex­i­can govern­ment for the in­flux, while threat­en­ing to pull out of NAFTA and cut off aid to Hon­duras. Though il­le­gal cross­ings rose this spring, they have gen­er­ally been de­creas­ing: last year the num­ber of peo­ple ap­pre­hended at the bor­der fell to a forty-six-year low. Three days af­ter Easter, Trump an­nounced that he was sum­mon­ing the Na­tional Guard.

Soon af­ter, At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions un­veiled a new plan of “zero tol­er­ance” that vowed crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion of all mi­grants caught cross­ing be­tween bor­der posts, in­clud­ing first­time of­fend­ers who had pre­vi­ously been han­dled in civil pro­ceed­ings. While Ses­sions didn’t ex­plic­itly en­dorse the divi­sion of fam­i­lies, his ac­tions made child sep­a­ra­tion of­fi­cial pol­icy, even for many fam­i­lies seek­ing asy­lum, since chil­dren can’t be housed in crim­i­nal de­ten­tion. “If you don’t want your child sep­a­rated, then don’t bring them across the bor­der il­le­gally,” Ses­sions said. Since Oc­to­ber, au­thor­i­ties have seized nearly three thousand chil­dren, in­clud­ing in­fants and tod­dlers, and sent them to foster homes in states as far-flung as New York and Michi­gan, leav­ing their fran­tic, in­car­cer­ated par­ents try­ing to fig­ure out where they were. Some were de­ported with­out their kids. Given the vi­o­lence the fam­i­lies were flee­ing, this amounted, as one ad­vo­cate put it, to “pun­ish­ing par­ents who are try­ing to save their chil­dren’s lives.” It wasn’t just lib­er­als who cried foul. Thir­teen Repub­li­can se­na­tors la­beled the pol­icy an af­front “to or­di­nary hu­man de­cency.” Laura Bush called it “cruel” and “im­moral.” The Cham­ber of Com­merce said, “This is not who we are.” The pro-Trump evan­ge­list Franklin Gra­ham found the ef­fort “dis­grace­ful.” The Amer­i­can Academy of Pe­di­atrics de­nounced its “sweep­ing cru­elty” and warned that tak­ing chil­dren from their par­ents could in­flict life­long harm. As the out­rage mounted, Trump sim­ply lied—he called fam­ily sep­a­ra­tion a Demo­cratic pol­icy. Ses­sions quoted the Bi­ble. On Fox, Ann Coul­ter sug­gested the wail­ing chil­dren were “child ac­tors,” and Laura In­gra­ham de­fended ju­ve­nile de­ten­tion cen­ters as “es­sen­tially sum­mer camps.” Ul­ti­mately Trump re­treated, sus­pend­ing the pol­icy days be­fore a fed­eral judge or­dered the fam­i­lies re­united, and chaos reigned as of­fi­cials tried to iden­tify and return chil­dren, in some cases af­ter hav­ing de­stroyed vi­tal records. A week af­ter the July 10 dead­line to return chil­dren younger than five years old, only about half of them were back with their par­ents. The episode—which hundreds of Ses­sions’s fel­low Methodists, in a com­plaint to the church’s gov­ern­ing body, likened to “child abuse”—marked a ma­jor es­ca­la­tion of Trump’s ef­forts to halt im­mi­gra­tion and pun­ish im­mi­grants.


Markham is ev­ery­thing that Donald Trump is not—em­pa­thetic, hon­est, painstak­ingly fac­tual, thought­ful, and fair. Her beau­ti­fully writ­ten book, The Far Away Broth­ers, fol­lows Ernesto and Raúl Flores, seven­teen-yearold twins, from a Sal­vado­ran vil­lage ruled by gang­sters from MS-13 to a high school in Oak­land, where she served as their coun­selor. It can be read as a sup­ple­ment to the cur­rent news, a chron­i­cle of the prob­lems that Cen­tral Amer­i­cans are flee­ing and the hor­rors they suf­fer in flight. But it tran­scends the cri­sis. Markham’s deep, frank re­port­ing is also use­ful in think­ing ahead to the chal­lenges of as­sim­i­la­tion, for the strug­gling twins and many others like them.

As it re­lates to the bor­der cri­sis, the story re­in­forces the lib­eral view: the boys, who ar­rived in the US in 2013, are run­ning from vi­o­lence, not just poverty. They are more like refugees than eco­nomic mi­grants, though legally they don’t qual­ify for refugee sta­tus. They’ve been through hell. But they are not the striv­ing over­achiev­ers that sup­port­ers of im­mi­gra­tion tend to en­vi­sion. Their har­row­ing jour­neys have left them trau­ma­tized. They are volatile, dis­trust­ful, and de­pressed. Both screw up in school, nei­ther learns much English, and one drops out and be­comes a teenage par­ent. Peo­ple wary of im­mi­gra­tion could read the story as a cau­tion­ary tale of its risks and costs. It is a tes­ta­ment to Markham’s nar­ra­tive skill that she keeps the reader pulling for her trou­bled char­ac­ters while faith­fully record­ing their blun­ders. They are just teens—two young men coura­geous enough to run from gang vi­o­lence rather than join it. While they ar­rive in the US with the wounds of their jour­ney, they also bring a fe­ro­cious work ethic. Markham’s re­port­ing is in­ti­mate and de­tailed, and her tone is a spe­cial plea­sure. Trust­wor­thy, calm, de­cent, it of­fers refuge from a world con­sumed by Twit­ter screeds and cable news dem­a­gogues. The Far Away Broth­ers is a gen­er­ous book for an un­gen­er­ous age.

Ernesto and Raúl are peas­ant boys, raised in a fam­ily of nine siblings so poor that some­times food runs short. (The names are pseudonyms.) Four other siblings died as in­fants. Their fa­ther, Wil­ber Sr., is lov­ing, reli­gious, but old-school rough: “He’d wal­lop them so hard they’d be afraid of where the beat­ing might end.” Every­one knows there’s op­por­tu­nity up north. When the boys are eleven, their fa­ther bor­rows money to send one of his older sons across the bor­der. Wil­ber Jr., who is “starry-eyed” at the prospect of Amer­i­can wages, makes the trip and be­comes a her­mano le­jano—a far­away brother. He set­tles in Cal­i­for­nia and pays off the coy­ote—the smuggler who helped him cross—but he rarely sends money home.

The coun­try he leaves be­hind is in­creas­ingly ruled by gangs. By 2015, the mur­der rate reaches a level more than twenty times higher than in the US— even higher than it was in the 1980s dur­ing the Sal­vado­ran civil war. “Heads were cut off, the corpses left out in the cen­ter of towns for all to see,” Markham writes. “Bod­ies turned up sprayed with so many bul­lets that prac­ti­cally none of

the torso re­mained.” In all but name, El Sal­vador is at war again.

The vi­o­lence closes in on the boys. When they are ten, a cousin is shot. When they are eleven, an un­cle’s mu­ti­lated body is fished from a river. At twelve, they flee a squad of armed men who sus­pect them of sup­port­ing a ri­val gang. School­mates taunt them as “dark­ass peas­ant boys” who are “too poor for shoes.” The boys’ oddity as identical twins, and the fam­ily’s poverty and low so­cial sta­tus, make them tar­gets of ag­gres­sion. Older kids in MS-13 urge Ernesto to join for pro­tec­tion. This may be less an in­vi­ta­tion than a threat. While Wil­ber Jr.’s mo­tive for em­i­grat­ing was mostly eco­nomic, the twins lit­er­ally run for their lives. Their men­ac­ing un­cle, Agustin, is a plan­ta­tion owner and money­len­der in ca­hoots with MS-13. Agustin scorns the twins’ poor, weak fam­ily. When some­one chops down a fa­vorite tree, his sus­pi­cions fall un­justly on Ernesto. “I’d like to crush that boy’s face in with a rock,” he says. Ernesto had al­ready started to plot an es­cape to the US, but now he re­ally needs to go. His fa­ther bor­rows $7,000 against his land to hire a coy­ote, and Ernesto slips away. As his brother’s looka­like, Raúl could eas­ily be killed in his place; the fam­ily takes out an­other loan, and he flees nine days later.

What has gone wrong in El Sal­vador? The ques­tion in­vites a fuller treat­ment that Markham pro­vides, but even her brief ac­count makes clear that the US bears some re­spon­si­bil­ity. In El Sal­vador, the Rea­gan ad­min­is­tra­tion backed a bru­tal right-wing govern­ment no­to­ri­ous for its death squads in a cold war strug­gle against leftist in­sur­gents that sent 350,000 peo­ple flee­ing to the US. The coun­try’s gangs were born in Los An­ge­les and sent back with de­por­tees to El Sal­vador, a coun­try where war had nor­mal­ized vi­o­lence and left civil au­thor­ity weak.

The his­tory ex­plains how mi­gra­tion of­ten works. Peo­ple who see an im­mi­grant “in­va­sion” imag­ine the US as a pas­sive tar­get. But mi­gra­tion fol­lows lines of global en­gage­ment, such as trade, in­vest­ment, and war. Seven of the ten largest im­mi­grant groups (Filipinos, Sal­vado­rans, Viet­namese, Cubans, Do­mini­cans, Kore­ans, and Gu­atemalans) come from coun­tries the US in­vaded or where it had a large mil­i­tary pres­ence—eight if you go back far enough to count Mexico. Sal­vado­rans are here in part be­cause of what we did there. “We have played a ma­jor part in cre­at­ing the prob­lem of what has be­come of Cen­tral Amer­ica,” Markham writes. The twins’ jour­ney north is a night­mare. Ernesto watches his smug­glers mur­der an­other mi­grant by slash­ing him with a ma­chete and shooting him in the head. He stum­bles across a head­less corpse in the Texas desert, and his hands sink into the “wet, sickly mess.” Raúl is caught by Agustin’s hench­men, who tie him up, beat his driver, and rape his coy­ota. It was “sheer luck that he wasn’t dead.”

Trump’s of­fi­cials (like Pres­i­dent Obama’s) have tried to dis­suade mi­grants by em­pha­siz­ing the dan­ger of the trip. “Don’t risk your lives or the lives of your chil­dren by try­ing to come to the United States on a road run by drug smug­glers and hu­man traf­fick­ers,” said Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence. But Markham’s re­port­ing sug­gests the mi­grants largely know what they’re up against. Ev­ery­thing that Raúl had “heard about the jour­ney north was about its per­ils: thieves and rapists and killers.” He is con­vinced “that the worst would hap­pen.” Given the risk of rape, some women pre­pare by tak­ing birth con­trol pills. That mi­grants un­der­take the jour­ney at all is a mea­sure of their des­per­a­tion. With a death threat hang­ing over the twins, the “fam­ily de­cided there was no other op­tion.”

Markham ar­gues that walls won’t keep the des­per­ate away, and she tells a stun­ning story about one of her stu­dents who was loaded into a sack and tossed over a twelve-foot bor­der fence. Build higher walls, she says, and peo­ple will dig tun­nels or board boats. But tougher en­force­ment, start­ing in Pres­i­dent Bush’s sec­ond term and con­tin­u­ing un­der Pres­i­dent Obama, is one rea­son that il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion has dropped. (Other rea­sons in­clude ris­ing op­por­tu­nity in Mexico and slow­ing pop­u­la­tion growth.) Still, Markham is right that many peo­ple will come any­way, and a mil­i­ta­rized bor­der in­creases the ex­pense and dan­ger of cross­ing, as well as the in­volve­ment of or­ga­nized crime. By the time the twins cross the Rio Grande, their fa­ther is $14,000 in debt, with in­ter­est grow­ing. When the twins fail to send enough money back home, the fam­ily loses much of its land.

The boys wan­der the Texas desert for three days be­fore agents grab them. Raúl ex­pects to be beaten and dumped back in Mexico (he’s al­ready think­ing about swim­ming the Rio Grande to return to Texas). In­stead they’re given food and wa­ter, held for three days in a win­dow­less room, and trans­ferred to a youth de­ten­tion cen­ter. Adults are usu­ally de­ported within days of be­ing ap­pre­hended, with­out see­ing a judge. But ju­ve­niles are en­ti­tled to a court hear­ing, and the 1997 Flores Set­tle­ment (no re­la­tion) re­quires their re­lease to a rel­a­tive when pos­si­ble. In the twins’ case, that’s their un­doc­u­mented brother in Cal­i­for­nia, Wil­ber Jr.

Many on the right see “catch and re­lease”—in this case, send­ing il­le­gal im­mi­grants to live with an il­le­gal im­mi­grant—as the epit­ome of weak en­force­ment. (Trump has called for abol­ish­ing mi­grants’ right to due process al­to­gether.) But fam­ily care is much cheaper and more hu­mane than de­ten­tion, and the govern­ment lacks space for every­one. While it’s true that many of those re­leased fail to ap­pear in im­mi­gra­tion court, an­kle bracelets and other al­ter­na­tives to de­ten­tion, while not per­fect, are much less ex­pen­sive than prison and highly ef­fec­tive.

To the twins, Wil­ber Jr. is a stranger— they haven’t seen him in six years. He is barely sur­viv­ing on an off-the-books land­scap­ing job, try­ing to set­tle down with his girl­friend, and wor­ried about get­ting de­ported. The last thing he needs is a pair of teenagers to feed, clothe, and house. They are fam­ily, “so of course he’d help them, but damn.” The “but damn” is im­por­tant. The mi­gra­tion lit­er­a­ture is filled with trib­utes to the strength of mi­grant net­works, which are in­deed a pow­er­ful force—per­sonal con­nec­tions move peo­ple around the globe and help them

set­tle. But this safety net also has lim­its that shape the mi­grants’ chance for ad­vance­ment. The apart­ment is crowded. Strangers move in. Tem­pers flare. Ernesto ac­cuses Wil­ber Jr. of steal­ing and moves out—they are no longer on speak­ing terms. The con­flict is a re­minder of how pre­car­i­ous poor im­mi­grants’ lives can be.

Legally, the twins pre­vail. The vic­tory comes against the odds, af­ter Markham finds them a good low-cost lawyer. (There’s no right to coun­sel in im­mi­gra­tion court.) Their case for asy­lum would be weak—the govern­ment usu­ally finds that peo­ple flee­ing gang vi­o­lence are not refugees as de­fined by in­ter­na­tional law, so the twins in­stead seek Spe­cial Im­mi­grant Ju­ve­nile Sta­tus for abused and ne­glected kids, based on their fa­ther’s beat­ings and in­abil­ity to pro­tect them from their un­cle. (The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion wants to tighten eli­gi­bil­ity for the pro­gram.) They get an ex­pe­dited hear­ing three days be­fore their eigh­teenth birth­day, when their eli­gi­bil­ity would ex­pire. A green card—per­ma­nent res­i­dency—fol­lows. As the story shifts from sur­vival to as­sim­i­la­tion, new chal­lenges arise. The teens are poor and trau­ma­tized. De­spite the right’s com­plaints about wel­fare, they get no govern­ment ben­e­fits. Raúl and Wil­ber Jr. are evicted; Raúl nearly winds up home­less. Haunted by the mur­der he wit­nessed, Ernesto has night ter­rors that awaken the house, as if he’s pos­sessed by “evil spir­its.” Raúl has flash­backs of the vi­o­lence he wit­nessed and can “feel the bomb in his head.” He cuts him­self to re­lease the pain and posts pic­tures of his mu­ti­lated arms. Ernesto fears that Raúl may kill him­self. The twins floun­der in school, even in a pro­gram for non-English speak­ers. They are chron­i­cally late (they work nights) and get in trou­ble once they ar­rive. They both get sus­pended for drink­ing. Ernesto gets sus­pended for start­ing a fight. They get kicked out of sum­mer school for miss­ing class. Ernesto drops out and has a daugh­ter with his fif­teen-year-old girl­friend. He can barely sup­port him­self, never mind a fam­ily.

Given what they’ve suf­fered, things could be worse. Of­ten ab­sent as stu­dents, they are stead­fast work­ers, both as bus­boys. Ernesto works seven days a week. Raúl “never once missed work”; the phys­i­cal ex­er­tion calms his anx­i­ety. Their ca­pac­ity for phys­i­cal la­bor is a source of pride; they know Amer­i­cans can’t match it. In­de­fati­ga­ble, un­com­plain­ing, un­ac­cus­tomed to Cal­i­for­nia wages, they are the low-skilled work­ers of ev­ery em­ployer’s dreams. Their work ethic may be their sav­ing grace.

Still, low-skilled work­ers have trou­ble ad­vanc­ing in to­day’s econ­omy. Even a stu­dio apart­ment in Oak­land costs as much as Ernesto, a new fa­ther, earns all month. His predica­ment is com­mon. About half the Sal­vado­ran adults in the US lack high school ed­u­ca­tions. A third are unau­tho­rized, and many more have only tem­po­rary per­mis­sion to re­main in the States. Mex­i­cans have sim­i­lar ed­u­ca­tional back­grounds, and about half are unau­tho­rized. (The es­ti­mates are from the Mi­gra­tion Pol­icy In­sti­tute.) To­gether, Mex­i­cans and Cen­tral Amer­i­cans com­prise about a third of all im­mi­grants—more than 14 mil­lion peo­ple. How will they and their de­scen­dants fare?

The op­ti­mistic sce­nario is that poor Lati­nos will more or less fol­low the course taken by Ital­ian im­mi­grants and their de­scen­dants. Like poor Lati­nos to­day, the four mil­lion Ital­ians who ar­rived be­tween 1880 and 1920 had peas­ant roots, pri­or­i­tized work over school, con­cen­trated on farm and con­struc­tion jobs, en­coun­tered sig­nif­i­cant dis­crim­i­na­tion (they were con­sid­ered non­white), and were plagued by or­ga­nized crime. The Mafia ter­ror­ized eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties long be­fore MS13. Ital­ians ad­vanced more slowly than most im­mi­grant groups at the time, but ad­vanced none­the­less—it’s im­pos­si­ble now to imag­ine Amer­i­can cul­ture with­out them. But up­ward mo­bil­ity was eas­ier to at­tain in the mid-twen­ti­eth cen­tury, when shared pros­per­ity built a great mid­dle class, than it is to­day, when growth pri­mar­ily ben­e­fits the rich. A more wor­ri­some prospect is that Lati­nos en­counter the same bar­ri­ers as blacks, with a sig­nif­i­cant mi­nor­ity mired in in­ter­gen­er­a­tional poverty. (In that anal­ogy, un­doc­u­mented sta­tus is the new Jim Crow, the le­gal bar­rier to mo­bil­ity.) Over­all, the chil­dren of im­mi­grants are thriv­ing: they gen­er­ally out­per­form the chil­dren of na­tives on mea­sures like ed­u­ca­tion, earn­ings, and em­ploy­ment. But a sub­set con­fronts the same prob­lems as poor mi­nori­ties with na­tive-born par­ents—bad schools, dan­ger­ous neigh­bor­hoods, fam­ily breakup, po­lice bru­tal­ity—and risks the same alien­ation. The so­ci­ol­o­gists Ale­jan­dro Portes and Rubén G. Rum­baut fa­mously warned that poor im­mi­grants, fac­ing the same chal­lenges as poor Amer­i­cans, may as­sim­i­late down­ward into a “rain­bow un­der­class.”

The Flores broth­ers aren’t just poor but so­cially iso­lated, barely able to trust even each other. Oak­land is much safer than El Sal­vador, but they still feel sur­rounded by peril. Each gets as­saulted on the street. Markham, a sharp ob­server of male psy­chol­ogy, notes how they try to look hard­ened in re­sponse, “puff­ing cig­a­rettes with coun­ter­feit ‘don’t fuck with me’ ex­pres­sions” to keep threats at bay. Ernesto in par­tic­u­lar re­sents au­thor­ity. The twins grew up feel­ing be­lit­tled, and liv­ing “on the mar­gins of a gen­tri­fy­ing city” re­in­forces the feel­ing that “they didn’t, and shouldn’t ex­pect to, be­long.” As poor im­mi­grants they have lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties, but they also may have lim­ited abil­ity to cap­i­tal­ize on the op­por­tu­ni­ties that come their way.

Com­pared to what the Flores broth­ers faced in El Sal­vador, even a hard­scrab­ble life in the States may leave them with the sense that they’ve ad­vanced. (Raúl is cer­tain that life is bet­ter; Ernesto is un­sure.) But their kids may have higher ex­pec­ta­tions. The greater dan­ger of down­ward as­sim­i­la­tion comes among the Amer­i­can-born chil­dren of poor im­mi­grants. Many view their par­ents’ dull, dirty jobs with dis­dain but lack the skills and con­nec­tions needed to ad­vance. In the worst cases, gang life feeds on this alien­ation.

It is wor­ri­some how much racial hos­til­ity the broth­ers per­ceive, even in Oak­land, a sanc­tu­ary city in the heart of pro­gres­sive Amer­ica. Wil­ber Jr. thinks racism is worse in the US than any­where in the world. Markham writes that Raúl, watch­ing Univi­sion, won­ders why Amer­i­cans “talked about im­mi­grants like they were some kind of par­a­site.” Ernesto is bus­ing a ta­ble when a cus­tomer ac­ci­den­tally knocks a beer from his hand. “Fuck­ing Latino!” the man spits. They nearly trade blows. One day they hear that a rich guy is run­ning for pres­i­dent. “Do you know he said Mex­i­cans were rapists and crim­i­nals?” Raúl asks. “Ass­hole,” says Ernesto.

The kitchens where they work are “filled with chat­ter about this guy, his bold racism.” As the cam­paign wears on, the sense of me­nace grows. On TV and the In­ter­net, the teens watch “seas of white peo­ple chant­ing ‘Build the wall’ over and over again.” It feels like peo­ple are chant­ing about them. Ernesto sees a video about a home­less Latino in Bos­ton who is beaten and uri­nated on. “Trump was right,” the al­leged as­sailant said. “All these il­le­gals need to be de­ported.”

Markham as­sures the broth­ers that Trump will lose. But their marginal­ized sta­tus al­lows them to see some as­pects of Amer­i­can life more clearly than their men­tor can. “I swear to you—Trump will win,” Ernesto says. With green cards, the twins are safe from de­por­ta­tion, but Wil­ber Jr., who has a DUI on his record, is a walk­ing bull’s eye. For him, de­por­ta­tion could be a death sen­tence. De­por­tees are de­scono­cido—un­known—and greeted by the gangs in El Sal­vador with sus­pi­cion. “He had two friends who had gone back to El Sal­vador from the United States and been killed,” Markham writes. “Two.”

The book ends with the elec­tion, but the hos­til­ity to mi­grants has only grown since Trump took of­fice. For na­tives of what Trump called “shit­hole” coun­tries—nearly 90 per­cent of im­mi­grants come from the de­vel­op­ing world—his pres­i­dency is a study in venom. The re­vo­ca­tion of DACA made po­lit­i­cal hostages of sev­eral mil­lion “Dream­ers” brought to the US il­le­gally as kids. (Trump’s move is cur­rently blocked in court.) Trump’s rant about send­ing Nige­ri­ans back to their “huts”—in ad­di­tion to be­ing un­apolo­get­i­cally racist—over­looked the fact that 60 per­cent have col­lege or grad­u­ate de­grees.

Even by Trump’s stan­dards, tak­ing chil­dren from their par­ents is ex­tra­or­di­nary in its mal­ice. The suf­fer­ing that fam­i­lies have en­dured looks less like a byprod­uct of the pol­icy than the pol­icy it­self—cru­elty pos­ing as strength. “Womp, womp,” chor­tled Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s for­mer cam­paign man­ager, af­ter be­ing told that a tenyear-old girl with Down syn­drome had been taken from her mother. The suf­fer­ing of dis­abled chil­dren has be­come a punch line. Though for now Trump has backed down on fam­ily sep­a­ra­tion, the episode only helps dis­tract from the more rou­tine in­sults to im­mi­grants and in­cur­sions on their se­cu­rity and rights. Trump and his sup­port­ers warn that the in­flux of poor im­mi­grants may lead to the rise of an un­der­class—an es­tranged and an­tag­o­nis­tic eth­nic com­mu­nity—but their an­i­mos­ity only helps to cre­ate one. Trump asks for im­mi­grants who “love our coun­try.” The Flores broth­ers feel the hate some Amer­i­cans have to­ward them. While the Trump pres­i­dency will pass, this wise book alerts us to how deep the dam­age may be and how long it may en­dure. —July 18, 2018

Friends and fam­ily at the fu­neral of a bus driver who was shot and killed dur­ing an en­counter with a gang mem­ber as he was re­turn­ing from his daily route, Apopa, El Sal­vador, Septem­ber 2016

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