A spokesperson for first lady Melania Trump called on “both sides” of the political aisle to address the Trump administration’s family separation policy, even though the President or attorney general alone could reverse the policy immediately.
“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,” Stephanie Grisham, a spokesperson for Melania Trump, told several outlets. “She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with a heart.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April ordered U.S. Attorneys to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy of criminally prosecuting everyone apprehended at the border, even migrants claiming asylum rights.
Because children cannot be held in criminal detention, the policy soon led to a spike in children being separated from the families with whom they’d approached the border. The President and members of his administration have responded to the backlash against the new policy by shifting blame to Congress.
Asked whether the first lady had lobbied the President or attorney general to end the administration’s family separation policy, given their authority to do so, Grisham did not directly answer. “Thanks Matt,” she said, without elaborating.
This post has been updated.