Trump tells federal agencies to reunite families at border; Melania visits region

U.S. Border Patrol agents take Central American asylum seekers into custody

U.S. Border Patrol agents take Central American asylum seekers into custody

Melania Trump in a visit to Texas facility got a firsthand look at some of the migrant children sent there by the USA government after their families entered the country illegally.

Children and workers are seen at a tent encampment recently built near the Tornillo Port of Entry on June 19, 2018 in Tornillo, Texas. On the wall was a handpainted American flag and the children signed it.

Directors told the first lady that children there are ages 12 and older and that most had arrived at the border without their parents.

President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was directing federal agencies to begin reuniting children and parents who had been separated at the U.S. -Mexico border after entering the country illegally, a first step to implementing his executive order reversing a policy that had drawn global condemnation.

Mrs Trump, who often campaigns for the right of children, was a strong force behind her husband's policy U-turn.

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The Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, enacted by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in early May, stated that everyone who tries to cross the southern border illegally would be criminally prosecuted, and that parents will be separated from their children as they await trial. She wants to see what's real.

"She wants to see what's real", said the first lady's spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told CNN during a 10-minute press briefing en route to Texas.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors' protest Thursday was announced earlier in the week and originally was meant to focus on reversing the family separation policy.

President Trump had said Wednesday his "zero tolerance" policy would continue.

How can I help these families reunite with their children as quickly as possible?
"She was on top of the situation before any of that came out", Grisham said.

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According to a spokesperson from the First Lady's office, Mrs. Trump wanted a "first-hand look" to "see a realistic view of what's happening" along the US-Mexico border.

Melania Trump's visit also came barely an hour before divided United States lawmakers were to begin voting on a pair of immigration bills in the House of Representatives, including one that directly addresses the family separation issue.

During her previously unannounced trip to Texas, Trump first went to the Upbring New Hope Children's Center in McAllen, Texas, and spoke with the facility's staff.

Mrs. Trump, whose focus as first lady is on child well-being, appears to have been among those pushing her husband to act.

He said: "Ivanka feels very strongly, my wife feels very strongly about it, I feel very strongly about it".

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