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Ivanka tries to address family separation by donating $50,000 to an anti-LGBTQ megachurch

The church has not said how it plans to help the thousands of immigrant children forcibly removed from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ivanka Trump donated $50,000 to an anti-LGBTQ church to address the family separation policy implemented by her father's administration. (CREDIT: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump donated $50,000 to an anti-LGBTQ church to address the family separation policy implemented by her father's administration. (CREDIT: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Ivanka Trump reportedly donated $50,000 to a virulently anti-LGBTQ church in Texas, in response to her father’s own family separation policy, CBN News reported Friday.

Ivanka’s donation to the Prestonwood Baptist Church was made around the same time lead pastor Jack Graham announced Español ministry pastor Gilberto Corredera would be “working to provide solutions to care for children during this terrible immigration crisis.” The White House adviser notably made the donation before President Trump signed an immigration order last week, supposedly suspending the family separation policy his administration had implemented in April and replacing it with long-term family detainment.

The church has not yet disclosed how it plans to use the funds or aid immigrant children forcibly removed from their parents’ custody under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which refers anyone detained at the U.S.-Mexico border — including asylum seekers turned away at ports of entry — for prosecution.

Ivanka has, for the most part, been publicly silent on the family separation policy, and was slammed as tone-deaf after she repeatedly posted pictures of her children, just as the rest of the country was learning of the border crisis earlier in June.

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Behind the scenes, she had reportedly told her father that the images of the detained children were a “problem.” She made no public comment, however, until after the president signed the executive order last Wednesday.

It’s probably no coincidence that Graham has been extremely supportive of Trump and his administration, serving as a member of the president’s evangelical executive advisory board. Graham even threatened to stop supporting the Southern Baptist Convention over concerns that Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, wasn’t supportive of enough of Trump during the campaign, and stood by Trump after the infamous Access Hollywood video came out.

Graham also supported Trump after the president referred to a group of white supremacists and neo-Nazis as “very fine people,” following a rally in Charlottesville last summer that left one counter-protester dead.

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It’s still unclear what the Prestonwood Baptist Church is planning to do with Ivanka’s donation or how it plans to support the thousands of immigrant children separated from their families and being held in “tender age” and juvenile facilities. Nowhere on its website or social media does the church explain or show how it’s helping the children. When Elite Daily reached out for clarification, the church declined to respond.

In a statement this week thanking Ivanka for the donation, Graham suggested they would plan some kind of event for the children “that will encourage them and make them smile,” and that they would also provide financial aid to families. He provided no additional details.

The donation also undermines Ivanka’s claim that she supports the LGBTQ community. Prestonwood Baptist Church led the effort to oppose LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections in Plano in 2015. Mike Buster, executive pastor of the church, claimed  the protections were an attempt “to silence people of faith in the workplace” who might choose to deny service or employment to LGBTQ people.

When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality that year, Graham responded by issuing a statement claiming “the family” was “under attack in America.” He urged church members to respond to “spiritual battles with spiritual weapons” to help “conquer sin and judgment,” calling on them to pray “that millions will be converted to Christ.”

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“We have set a course for disaster in our beloved nation and there seems to be no turning back,” he warned at the time.

Ivanka has claimed to be an ally to the LGBTQ community, but she has largely avoided challenging her father’s administration as it works to systematically dismantle protections for transgender people at every turn. Last June, Ivanka attempted to celebrate Pride month — which the administration has repeatedly refused to observe — by tweeting that she supported her LGBTQ friends, but was roundly criticized for the post by those who said she was being hypocritical. She’s remained silent about the LGBTQ community ever since.