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Melania Trump makes surprise visit to migrant child facility in Texas

Melania Trump makes surprise visit to migrant child facility in Texas

Melania Trump was among the first ladies who condemned the practice last week, and today she made her way to a shelter in McAllen, Texas, to meet with the displaced children and social workers who are tasked with their care.

With House Republicans' immigration bills likely to go down in flames Thursday afternoon, many vulnerable GOP lawmakers are fearing the political ramifications of their inaction in the face of public outrage over the mass separation of migrant children and families. The visit to the one-story red brick building, which houses 55 children, was meant to lend support to those children who remain separated from their parents, said Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's spokeswoman.

Implementation of the family separation policy was put on hold after over 2,300 children have been separated from their guardians since May 5 due to the latter having crossed the US-Mexico border illegally.

In a sign of the broadening scope of the crisis, the Department of Health and Human Services asked the Pentagon to prepare to house up to 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children on military bases, a USA official said.

The first lady's stop at Upbring New Hope Children's Center came the morning after President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting the practice of separating these families. The first lady signed it as well.

"What is the objective of the House doing good immigration bills when you need 9 votes by Democrats in the Senate, and the Dems are only looking to Obstruct", Trump tweeted.

"She wants to see what's happening for herself and she wants to lend her support, executive order or not", said Grisham.

Trump said at a Cabinet meeting that he had directed the departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services "to work together to keep illegal immigrant families together during the immigration process and to reunite these previously separated groups".

During his press statements, Trump confessed he "didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated", but insisted "we are keeping a very powerful border, and it continues to be zero tolerance..." He says staff have "a tremendous passion for working with these children" and the center is "their home". I sent a letter asking the United Nations to send observers to investigate the unconscionable separation of families at the border.

Administration officials were unable to clarify whether family separations would end immediately or when and how families now separated would be reunited.

Mrs. Trump, whose focus as first lady is on child well-being, appears to have been among those pushing him to act.

The failure dealt an embarrassing blow to Republicans under intense pressure by Trump's administration to take the first legislative steps to address the issue.

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