First Lady Melania Trump weighed in Sunday on a controversial Trump Administration policy that demands families awaiting the outcome of an asylum claim be separated, and children placed in detention facilities.
The First Lady's communications director told CNN that she's critical of her husband's policy and "hates to see" families in pain.
"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, said. "She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."
Both Democrats and Republicans have expressed concern in recent days that the Trump Administration is ramping up a border control policy that demands children of captured illegal immigrant parents be separated from those parents if their mother or father makes a claim for asylum during their initial detention hearing.
Typically, children are separated from adults at the border to confirm they are not being trafficked, and that the adult they're with is a family member and not someone using the child to receive special attention. Families captured at the border are typically reunited and then deported together if there is no chance of an asylum claim. In a departure from previous policy, the Trump administration is maintaining the separation between children and parents while the parent or parents' asylum claim is investigated.
So far, the White House says, around 2,000 children have been separated from their parents.
The First Lady isn't typically a vocal part of the Trump Administration, and has, until now, never publicly demurred from the White House's official line. Melania Trump's critique isn't harsh — it merely urges federal officials to express compassion, and calls for a bipartisan response to the issue — but it is significant, nonetheless.
Her husband, President Donald Trump, also suggested Sunday that Democrats could correct any issue they have with the Trump Administration's immigration policy by working with Republicans to change immigration law. "Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change!" the President tweeted.