A new immigration policy enacted by the Trump administration has resulted in children being ripped from their parents’ arms at the U.S.-Mexican border in alarming numbers. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesman Jonathan Hoffman announced on Friday that from April 19 through May 31, almost 2,000 children had been placed in a detention center. Through her spokeswoman, first lady Melania Trump has condemned the practice.
Communications Director Stephanie Grisham told CNN on Sunday that Mrs. Trump “hates ” to see the children being separated from their parents and hopes that all parties involved can come together for successful immigration reform. In her statement, Mrs. Trump said that U.S. immigration policy must be tempered with compassion.
“She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart,” Grisham told the news outlet on the first lady’s behalf.
Appearing to share his wife’s position, Donald J. Trump has repeatedly blamed Democrats for problems with immigration reform. However, the decision to charge all adults who cross the border illegally with federal crimes, as well as the mandate that their children be detained, was born out of the Trump regime. Trump even tweeted on Saturday that Democrats are really only successful at three things: “high taxes, high crime, and obstruction.”
“Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change!” Trump tweeted. “This is why we need more Republicans elected in November. Democrats are good at only three things, High Taxes, High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!”
NPR reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced during a speech in Scottsdale, Arizona, on May 7 that the separations and detentions would begin “as required by law.” He advised that the only way to avoid prosecution and detention is to avoid crossing the border illegally. Sessions warned that “it’s not our fault that somebody does that.”
Democrats have adamantly denied implementation of this policy during the Obama administration. According to NPR, former domestic policy director Cecilia Muñoz called the practice of separating children from their families and shipping them off to unknown destinations as “a new decision” that puts the U.S. in the “league with the most brutal regimes in the world’s history.”
Back in March of this year, while White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was still at the helm of the DHS, he announced that the policy was enacted as a deterrent to mothers from immigrating illegally. Kelly told NPR in May that he hoped the practice would not have to be used for an extended period of time.
Mrs. Trump’s new “Be Best” initiative celebrates children, while the immigration policy directly conflicts with the spirit of her platform.