Melania Trump on Thursday made a second visit to detention centers where immigrant children are kept separately from their parents, this time in Arizona, following a controversial visit to a Texas detention center last week.
As CNN reports, Mrs. Trump visited the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Facility in Tucson, where she talked not only with facility employees, but also with area government officials and nearby ranchers. Following the meeting, she toured the facility and met with some of the families who are currently housed there with their children. All of the families had crossed the border within the previous 72 hours.
In some ways, says CNN, the facility is not unlike a prison, with cots, cement cells, and mylar blankets. However, the cell doors remained open, and a TV was playing a children’s movie in Spanish.
She also visited another immigrant detention facility, this time in Phoenix. There, she met children who had been separated from their parents. Others had arrived in the U.S. on their own.
Through an interpreter, Mrs. Trump greeted the kids, asked them their names and ages, and asked them about the craft projects they were working on.
She then visited a room where nine children all under the age of 18 months were housed. Five of them had been separated from their parents.
This was the second visit the first lady has made to immigrant detention centers in two weeks.
The Trump administration’s “Zero Tolerance” immigration policy, which has resulted in children being separated from their parents and housed at separate detention facilities, has become intensely controversial of late. Following public backlash, the Trump administration has set in motion plans to reverse the policy and to reunite the separated children with their parents.
Mrs. Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said via NPR News that the first lady wants to see for herself what is happening at immigration detention centers.
“She wanted to see everything for herself. She supports family reunification. She thinks that it’s important that children stay with their families.”
One difference between this visit and last week’s visit was Mrs. Trump’s wardrobe choice. Last week, when she visited a detention facility in McAllen, Texas, she wore a green jacket with the words “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” emblazoned on the back. Mrs. Trump’s people have insisted that there was no deeper meaning behind the jacket.
For this trip, Mrs. Trump didn’t wear a jacket, instead wearing simple white pants and a black blouse.