Melania Trump Says She Wants to Help Reunite Migrant Children and Families During Visit at Texas Detention Center
First Lady Melania Trump arrived in McAllen, Texas, on Thursday, June 21, to get a first-hand account of what it’s like inside a child detention center. In a meeting with various immigration officials and social service workers, Mrs. Trump asked several questions concerning the kids, including how they’re being taken care of, how many times the children are being permitted to speak to their families (the answer: twice a week), and what she can do to help them.
“How I can help to these children reunite with their families as quickly as possible?” she asked one of the officials at the meeting.
The First Lady’s visit was not announced prior to her arrival and comes at the same time that her husband, President Donald Trump, issued a reversal to the practice of referring migrant parents to face prosecution in federal courthouses when entering the country illegally. The president also said Wednesday that children will no longer be separated from their families when crossing the US-Mexico border.
Mrs Trump's trip not announced until she arrived in Texas. Aides say she asked her staff Tuesday to plan a visit for her as soon as possible. "She wanted to see everything for herself," said @StephGrisham45. Said @FLOTUS wants immigrant children to stay with their families. pic.twitter.com/HxlzWxIdGn
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 21, 2018
“Her goals are to thank law enforcement and social services providers for their hard work, lend support and hear more on how the administration can build upon the already existing efforts to reunite children with their families,” the White House’s Office of the First Lady said in a statement to CBS News.
The facility Mrs. Trump visited is called Upbring New Hope Children’s Center and shelters 55 immigrant children. They range between 12 and 17 years of age, but the center has a permit to house kids as young as six years old, according to CBS News.
“We’re honored to show you our shelter,” Upbring CEO Director Kirk Senske told the First Lady, CNN reports. “We treat them like our own children.”
Mrs. Trump’s visit comes just days after every living First Lady, including Mrs. Trump, proclaimed their disapproval of separating children from their families as they attempt to enter the country.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)