Tucson, June 30: Melania Trump made her second visit in a week to the border on Thursday as her husband’s administration continued to struggle with the fallout from its “zero tolerance” policies that resulted in the separation of migrant children from their parents.
The First Lady met officials at a Border Patrol office in Tucson and later toured a Department of Homeland Security facility in Phoenix where some of the separated children are being temporarily housed.
“I want to thank you for all your hard work that you do,” Trump told the officials in Tucson. “I’m here to support you and give my help, whatever I can for behalf of the children and the families. Thank you for having me.”
President Trump’s crackdown on illegal border crossers in early May led to more than 2,300 children being separated from their families, causing a humanitarian outcry and a political crisis for many of his Republican allies.
The President issued an executive order last week aimed at ending family separations, but the Government is struggling to reunite the families already broken apart. Critics have filed several lawsuits, and one federal Judge has ordered the Government to reunite all of the children with their parents within 30 days.
Thursday’s trip was Melania Trump’s first public appearance since her first border visit was marred by a controversy over her decision to wear a jacket that said “I REALLY DON’T CARE. DO U?” on the back during a visit last week to a Texas border facility.
That fashion choice – which Melania Trump’s spokeswoman dismissed as a meaningless decision – overshadowed the First Lady’s Texas visit and her effort to demonstrate the Trump administration’s empathy for the plight of the separated children. Her clothing choices on Thursday were far less controversial: Melania Trump arrived in Arizona wearing a black sweater and white slacks for her visit with officials and children.
Melania Trump toured several classrooms at Southwest Key Campbell, a facility partly funded by the Department of Health and Human Services where children are being held.
In one classroom, about 10 boys and girls were making colourful pictures of animals when Melania Trump arrived. When she asked the children how old they were, several shouted “Cinco!” in Spanish. (NYTNS)