Washington (June 22, 2018): United States first lady Melania Trump made a surprise trip to the US-Mexican border on Thursday, visiting a migrant children´s shelter as her husband´s administration seeks to quell a firestorm over family separations.
The unannounced visit by the first lady, who was also to travel to a border patrol processing center, came a day after President Donald Trump — in a stunning about-face — moved to end the practice of splitting immigrant families.The first lady landed in McAllen, Texas under a heavy downpour, her motorcade driving through deep water to the Upbring New Hope Children´s Shelter, a federally-funded facility that houses around 60 children from Honduras and El Salvador, ages five to 17.
“I´m glad I´m here and I´m looking forward to seeing the children,” Melania Trump said at a roundtable discussion with social workers and government officials.
“I would also like to ask you how I can help these children to reunite with their families as quickly as possible.”The surprise trip “was 100 percent her idea,” Melania Trump´s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told reporters travelling with her to Texas. “She wanted to see everything for herself.”
Despite Trump´s executive order on ending family separations, there was no immediate plan in place to reunite the more than 2,300 children already separated from their families.
In addition, Trump´s order would keep families together but in custody indefinitely while parents are prosecuted for entering the country illegally — a move that could lead to new legal battles for the administration.