Laura Bush, Melania Trump weigh in on separating immigrant families

Two first ladies are speaking out about the controversial policy of separating children from their parents at the United States and Mexico border.

Former First Lady Laura Bush said coming from Texas, she understands the need for border protection. But she believes the zero-tolerance policy is cruel and immoral.

The former first lady published an opinion article in the Washington Post Sunday. In it, she expressed disapproval of the Trump administration’s new policy.

That’s a rare move for Bush, who hasn’t gotten involved in much political debate since her husband left office. But she said the images of children getting taken from their parents broke her heart.

"Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered robbery one of the most shameful episodes in US history,” Bush said.

The current first lady has also taken a rare jump into political discourse. Melania Trump has taken a more moderate approach.

“Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can come together to achieve successful immigration reform. She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws but also a country that governs with heart,” a spokeswoman for the first lady said.

On Monday congressional Democrats who are members of a Homeland Security committee will tour facilities in Brownsville where hundreds of undocumented immigrants are being housed.

Several went on their own tour on Sunday. They got a first-hand look at the living conditions at the facilities. Some of the young immigrants being housed there are among the two thousand children who were separated from their parents while trying to cross the border.

The Democratic lawmakers said President Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance policy goes too far.

“What we’re doing as a nation is inflicting enormous harm on these kids and on the parents when it’s totally unnecessary during this time when they’re waiting for their asylum hearing,” said Sen. Jeff Merkely, a Democrat from Oregon.

The Trump administration argued it’s trying to deter future illegal border crossings. Officials said American parents are also separated from their children if they break the law and have to go through the judicial process.

“Nobody likes seeing babies ripped from their mother’s arms, from their mother’s wombs frankly but we have to make sure that DHS’s laws are understood,” said Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to the president.

Democrats counter what the administration is doing is not law, it’s policy and can be changed by the president.

President Trump will meet at the White House Monday on immigration. On Tuesday he’s set to go to Capitol Hill where the parental separation issue will once again be in the spotlight.

The border patrol noted the children are being cared for. They are provided with hot meals and medical services.