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Melania Trump Weighs In On Trump's Separation Policy, As Hundreds March In Protest

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from adults at the border between mid-April and the end of May.

What you need to know
  • Hundreds have marched in protest in the US over the weekend against the policy of separating children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border
  • First Lady Melania Trump has also weighed in on the debate saying she hates to see people separated from their families
  • The Trump administration has placed the blame on Democrats saying their support for a broader immigration bill would end the separations

Melania Trump has weighed in on the fierce debate surrounding the separation of families at the U.S.- Mexico border, as hundreds rallied over the weekend to protest the Trump administration's policy.

A spokeswoman said the First Lady "hates to see children separated from their families."

"[She] hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform," the spokeswoman added.

It's a rare public statement on a policy issue from the president's wife, and comes after the May launch of her "Be Best" platform dedicated to children's well-being.

Earlier on Sunday hundreds -- including democratic lawmakers and protesters, gathered outside an immigration detention facility in New Jersey for a demonstration against the policy.

“This must not be who we are as a nation,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler, who met with five detainees inside the facility, including three who said they had young relatives removed from their care after seeking asylum at the border.

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from adults at the border between mid-April and the end of May, U.S. officials confirmed last week.

In May, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero tolerance” policy in which all those apprehended entering the United States illegally, including those seeking asylum, would be criminally charged, which generally leads to children being separated from their parents.

Administration officials have defended the tactic as necessary to secure the border and suggested it would act as a deterrent to illegal immigration.

The policy has drawn condemnation from medical professionals, religious leaders and immigration activists, who warn that some children could suffer lasting psychological trauma. The children are held in government facilities, released to adult sponsors or placed in temporary foster care.

But Donald Trump has sought to blame Democrats, saying their support for passage of a broader immigration bill would end the separations.

Late last week White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders got in a heated argument with a journalist who asked about Session's use of a bible verse to suggest the separation policy could be justified.

Sanders said she was unaware of the Attorney General's comments but that "it is very biblical to enforce the law."

"The separation of illegal alien families is the product of the same legal loopholes that Democrats refuse to close," Sanders said.

"These laws are the same that have been on the books for over a decade.  And the President is simply enforcing them."

She threw a blistering remark at the journalist who repeatedly asked her whether the policy was moral.

"That’s not what I said.  And I know it’s hard for you to understand even short sentences," Sanders fired back.

"They’re with their parents, and then suddenly they’re pulled away from their parents.  Why is the government doing this?," the journalist asked again.

"Because it’s the law.  And that’s what the law states," Sanders replied.

Rallies against the policy have been held across the country with hundreds of people including many families with young children carrying signs calling for an end to the policy.

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With Reuters. Featured Image: Getty Images