Melania Trump made a surprise trip to the border amid firestorm over family-separation policy

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesFirst lady Melania Trump participates in a round table discussion at the Upbring New Hope Childrens Center in McAllen, Texas on June 21, 2018.
  • First lady Melania Trump made a surprise trip to the southern US border on Thursday amid the firestorm over her husband’s family-separation policy with migrants.
  • The purpose of the visit was “to take part in briefings and tours at a nonprofit social services center for children who have entered the United States illegally and a customs and border patrol processing center,” according to a statement.
  • President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday designed to stop migrant family separations.

First lady Melania Trump made a surprise trip to the southern border on Thursday amid the firestorm over the Trump administration’s separation of migrant families.

The purpose of the visit to McAllen, Texas, was “to take part in briefings and tours at a nonprofit social services center for children who have entered the United States illegally and a customs and border patrol processing center,” according to a statement released by the White House.

She planned to tour a children’s shelter in McAllen that houses about 60 children ages 5-17 from Honduras and El Salvador, and a border patrol processing center, but had to skip the latter because of flooding.

The statement went on to say that Trump’s goals were “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.”

Melania’s visit comes just one day after her husband, President Donald Trump, signed an executive order designed to end the family-separation policy.

“We all know that [the children] are here without their families, and thank you for your hard work, your compassion, and your kindness you’re giving them during these difficult times,” the first lady said during a roundtable discussion at the children’s shelter.

She continued: “I’m here to learn about your facility in which I know you house children on a long term basis. And I also like to ask you how I can help to these children to reunite with their families as quickly as possible.”

Boarding the plane to Texas, Melania was wearing a jacket that said, “I really don’t care, do u?” on the back, prompting an outcry on social media.

The trip to the border was “100% her idea,” spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said, adding that Melania “wanted to see everything for herself” and that her husband supported the trip.

When asked if the first lady supported the executive order, Grisham said Trump supports family reunification and will continue to “give her husband opinions on what she’s thinking should happen.”

Grisham also stated that the first lady believes that “the law should be followed” and “feels that everybody should enter the country legally.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar joined Trump on her visit to McAllen.

Despite all five living first ladies coming out against Trump’s family-separation policy, Grisham said the first lady has not spoken with any of them.

On Wednesday, Trump said his wife had urged him to stop separating families.

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