First Ladies Call for Changes on Child Separation Policy

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THE emotional debate over separating immigrant parents and their children at the nation’s southern border is getting some strong comments from first ladies — past and present — who want the practice changed.

First lady Melania Trump “hates” to see families separated at the border and hopes “both sides of the aisle” can reform the nation’s immigration laws, according to a statement from her office Sunday about the controversy. Former first lady Laura Bush called the policy “cruel” and “immoral” and said “it breaks my heart.”

For both, it was an unusual entry into a fierce political debate.

Mrs. Trump didn’t refer specifically to the Trump administration’s “no tolerance” policy, which was leading to a spike in children being separated from their families. Government statistics indicate that nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May.

A spokeswoman for the wife of President Donald Trump issued the statement after several days of images of crying children appearing on television and online.

“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,” said Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Mrs. Trump. “She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”

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