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Family separations at border marked ‘low point,’ says Ivanka Trump

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Ivanka Trump (L), advisor to and daughter of US President Donald Trump, arrives at Incheon International Airport in Incheon on February 23, 2018, to attend the closing ceremony of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games on February 25. Trump’s daughter Ivanka arrived in Seoul on February 23 to attend the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics closing ceremony, where a top North Korean general will also be present. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Ahn Young-joon

US First Daughter Ivanka Trump spoke out Thursday against the family separations prompted by her father’s border crackdown, saying news of the controversial policy marked a “low point” during her White House tenure.

Describing herself as “the daughter of an immigrant” — her mother was born and raised in the former Czechoslovakia — Trump said she felt very strongly about the crisis that swelled earlier this year when thousands of children were separated from their migrant parents.

“That was a low point for me as well,” Trump, 36, told a conference organized by website Axios, referring to the “zero tolerance” immigration policy of Donald Trump’s administration.

“I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children, so I would agree with that sentiment,” added the businesswoman, who is a senior advisor to the president.

Trump also distanced herself from her father’s brutal condemnation of the media — attacks that have raised the levels of anti-press antagonism at the president’s recent rallies.

“No, I do not feel that the media is the enemy of the people,” Ivanka said when pressed on the issue.

The immigration crisis, which swelled further when audio emerged of detained toddlers crying out for their mothers, caused a domestic and international firestorm, and in June the president reversed course.

He ordered an end to the separations, but as of last week’s deadline, some 711 of the roughly 2,500 separated children were still not reunited with their parents, and officials were unable to clarify when they would be.

Trump noted that her mother, Donald Trump’s first wife Ivana Trump, came to the United States legally.

“So we have to be very careful about incentivizing behavior that puts children at risk of being trafficked, at risk of entering this country with coyotes or making an incredibly dangerous journey alone,” she said.

“These are incredibly difficult issues, and like the rest of the country I experience them in a very emotional way.”

Trump was accused of insensitivity on social media in May when, amid the outcry over family separations, she posted a photograph of herself hugging her young son.


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