Melania Trump has criticised the US government’s immigration policy of separating children from their parents at the border - a measure introduced by her husband’s administration last month.
“Mrs Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform,” her communications director, Stephanie Grisham, told CNN. “She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”
Since 7 May, all adults caught crossing the US border illegally are being charged with federal crimes, resulting in parents being separated from their children. Previously, adults who entered the US with children were mostly referred to immigration courts.
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Hundreds of children are being kept “in a series of cages” inside an “old warehouse in south Texas”, The Guardian reports.
Democratic Congressman Peter Welch has criticised the conditions in which children are being housed.
“I just exited a border patrol ‘processing facility’ known as the ‘icebox’,” Welch said. “It is nothing short of a prison. I saw chain link cages full of unaccompanied children. They sat on metal benches and stared straight ahead silently.”
Donald Trump has previously blamed a law that “Deomcrats gave us” for the detentions, but it remains unclear which law he means.
He has also urged Democrats to work with Republicans to create new legislation to address the issue.
“Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change!” the US president said. “Democrats are good at only three things, High Taxes, High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!”
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