Melania Trump calls for end to migrant family separation

A young girl being served a cup of soup by volunteers in a migration center in the border town of McAllen Texas

The Jewish aide was instrumental in convincing Trump to enact the new zero-tolerance border policies that have led to the dramatic and controversial shift, The New York Times reported.

The number of separations has jumped since early May, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that all migrants illegally crossing the United States border with Mexico would be arrested, regardless of whether the adults were seeking asylum. "The practice and policy today of removing children from their parents' care at our border with Mexico is disgraceful and a shame to our country". "If we are truly that country, then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents - and to stop separating parents and children in the first place", she said adding that Americans pride on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to devastated places. Laura Bush said the ongoing policy at the border "breaks her heart" in an editorial published by The Washington Post.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

Clinton also said the White House's claim that separating families is mandated by law is "an outright lie" and criticized people for using the Bible to justify the policy.

MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski slammed Ivanka Trump on Friday as "tone deaf" for posting photos of herself and her children on Instagram as US officials continued to divide families at the border.

The comments of current first lady Melania Trump are more fraught.

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Almost 2,000 children have been taken from their parents since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration's "zero tolerance" policy, which directs Homeland Security officials to refer all cases of illegal entry into the United States for prosecution.

As a result, children are separated from those who are prosecuted, with no clear procedure for their reunion.

In a rare intervention the first lady's spokeswoman said she wanted Republicans and Democrats to work together to achieve "successful immigration reform". But she said the images of children getting taken from their parents broke her heart.

Former first lady Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, said Monday the situation at the southern US border is "a moral and humanitarian crisis", and what is happening to families there is "horrific".

President Donald Trump has tried to blame Democrats, who hold no levers of power in the government today, for the policy, which has sparked a furious national debate over the moral implications of his hard-line approach to immigration enforcement.

"Children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country", President Trump said.

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