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All 5 living first ladies speak out on separation of immigrant children, parents at border


Every living first lady has weighed in on the separation of immigrant children and parents at the United States' border with Mexico.

>> Immigration: Trump administration defends 'zero tolerance' policy (live updates)

Here are the latest updates:

Update 7:17 a.m. EDT June 19: Former first ladies Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter are reacting to the separation of immigrant children and their parents at the border.

On Monday afternoon, Obama retweeted former first lady Laura Bush, who criticized the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration in a Washington Post op-ed Sunday.

“Sometimes truth transcends party,” Obama wrote in agreement with Bush.

>> Read the tweet here

 

Former Democratic presidential nominee, Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Clinton had a lengthier response, speaking about the policy to the Women’s Forum of New York and later tweeting her remarks.

 “What’s happening to families at the border right now is a humanitarian crisis. Every parent who has ever held a child in their arms, every human being with a sense of compassion and decency, should be outraged,” she tweeted Monday afternoon. “Despite what this White House claims, separating families is not mandated by law. That is an outright lie, and it’s incumbent on all of us – journalists and citizens alike – to call it just that.”

She continued: “Those who selectively use the Bible to justify this cruelty are ignoring a central tenet of Christianity. Jesus said ‘Suffer the little children unto me.’ He did not say ‘let the children suffer.’”

>> Read the Twitter thread here

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter also issued a statement slamming the policy as “disgraceful.”

“When I was first lady, I worked to call attention to the plight of refugees fleeing Cambodia for Thailand,” her statement read. “I visited Thailand and witnessed firsthand the trauma of parents and children separated by circumstances beyond their control. The practice and policy today of removing children from their parents’ care at our border with Mexico is disgraceful and a shame to our country.”

>> Read the statement here

 

Original report: Two first ladies are weighing in on the separation of immigrant children and parents at the United States' border with Mexico.

>> Five undocumented immigrants dead after chase with Border Patrol, officials say

Former first lady Laura Bush criticized the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on illegal immigration as "cruel" in a Washington Post op-ed Sunday.

>> Read the piece here

"I live in a border state," Bush wrote. "I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart."

According to The Associated Press, the policy, which started last month, "sought to maximize criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally," leading to more adults in jail, separated from their children. 

>> Reports: 1,500 immigrant children missing, feds say they’re not responsible

"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," Bush continued. "These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history."

She added: "In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis? I, for one, believe we can."

>> Read more trending news 

First lady Melania Trump also shared her thoughts on the issue Sunday.

"Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform," said her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, according to CNN. "She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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