Ivanka Trump faced the wrath of social media this holiday weekend after she tweeted a gauzy photograph of her cuddling with her youngest son amid reports that the United States government has lost track of 1,500 migrant children who entered the country at the Mexican border.
After sharing multiple photos of her “lunch date” with 2-year-old son Theodore on Instagram, Trump, 36, tweeted a picture of the pair sharing a hug on Sunday.
“My ! #SundayMorning” the mother of three captioned the photo.
Responding to Trump’s family-oriented social media share, MSNBC correspondent Joy Reid wrote, “You’d almost never know her father’s administration, to which she is an adviser, was brutally separating migrant children from their asylum-seeking parents and lost track of 1,5000 of them.”
“Isn’t it [just the] best to snuggle your little ones — knowing exactly where they are, safe in your arms? It’s the best. The BEST. Right, Ivanka? Right?” added actor Patton Oswalt.
Jim Carrey, who frequently expresses his opposition to the Trump administration through controversial portraits, shared his take on the situation alongside a searing picture of ICE agent separating an anguished mother from her screaming child.
“1500 innocent children ripped from their mothers’ arms at our border. Lost in Trump’s ‘system’. Give us your tired, your poor, your huddle masses yearning to breathe free — and we will torture them for wanting a better life. From Shining City to Evil Empire in under 500 days,” he captioned the artwork.
Earlier this month, while speaking at the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies’ 2018 spring conference, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new “zero tolerance” policy regarding illegal immigration.
“If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” Sessions said, apparently referring to the law that would separate children from a U.S.-citizen parent who is convicted and jailed. “We don’t want to separate families, but we don’t want families to enter the border illegally.”
Sessions’ comments came shortly after Steven Wagner, a top official with the Department of Health and Human Services, testified during a Senate committee hearing that the federal agency had lost track of 1,475 children who had crossed the border without being accompanied by a parent, and had then been placed with sponsors.
“Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law,” he wrote on Saturday, adding, “we MUST continue building the WALL!”
But The Washington Post notes that there is no law specifically requiring the government to separate children from parents who enter the country illegally.
It was the Trump administration that made the decision to refer anyone caught crossing the border illegally for federal prosecution — a policy that has already led to more children being separated from their parents at the border.
Echoing Trump’s comments, Florida Senator Marco Rubio told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday that he would be open to changing the law, before noting that “the better law to change is to secure our border and to send a clear message that you cannot continue to enter the United States illegally,” The Hill reported.
In response to the outrage over the lost children, there will be a rally in San Antonio, Texas, on Thursday.