First Lady Melania Trump released a statement yesterday saying she, "hates" to see families separated and quote, "hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform." Her spokeswoman stated, "She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart." Former First Lady Laura Bush also spoke out in a Washington Post column, calling the separation policy "cruel" and "immoral" and saying, "it breaks my heart." She also compared it to the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War Two. Bush wrote: "The U.S. government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso."
Meanwhile: Some reporters and lawmakers were given access yesterday (June 17th) to facilities where children are being held after being separated from their parents after being arrested crossing the border illegally. Some have also been apprehended while trying to claim asylum. As the controversy over the practice that the Trump administration began two months ago continues to grow, the Border Patrol yesterday allowed reporters to briefly visit an old warehouse in South Texas where hundreds of children are being held. A group of Democratic lawmakers also visited the South Texas facility, and several expressed anger afterward and called on the administration to change its policy. Nearly 2,000 children have been taken from their parents since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the "zero tolerance" policy, under which all cases of illegal entry are referred for criminal prosecution. Stories have been reported in the media of children as young as infants being taken from their parents, and parents being unable to find out where their children have gone. In response to the criticism, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted: "We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period." and accused the news media of misreporting the issue.