Ivanka Trump's picture with son sparks social media outrage over border separations
Earlier, families suspected of crossing the US-Mexico border through illegal means were allowed to stay together until their cases were resolved, however, this is not the case now
President Donald Trump's daughter and senior White House aide, Ivanka Trump, met with social media backlash on Sunday after she tweeted a picture of herself with her two-year-old son Theodore.
Coming at the time when the news of children being taken away from their mothers by the US border agents are making headlines, several Twitter users expressed outrage at the picture.
Ivanka shared the picture of her and her son snuggling with the caption: "My <3! #SundayMorning.”
Comedian Patton Oswalt was among the hundreds of Twitter users who pointed out the connection between Trump's tweet and the separation of families at the US border under policies put in place by the Trump administration.
Oswalt wrote: "Isn’t it the just the best to snuggle your little one – knowing exactly where they are, safe in your arms? It’s the best. The BEST. Right, Ivanka? Right?”
Many Twitter users, a lot of them mothers, asked the first daughter to contemplate what it would be like to forcibly be separated from her child.
"You’re a mother of 3. So am I. Imagine someone in an ICE uniform takes away your precious baby, and you never get to see him or her ever again. This is what’s going on, thanks to your Dad’s policy. DO SOMETHING," a Twitter user with the Twitter handle @litbrit said.
A fellow at the London School of Economics and former Democratic strategist, Brian Klaas, wrote: "This is so unbelievably tone deaf, given that public outrage is growing over young kids being forcibly ripped from the arms of their parents at the border – a barbaric policy that Ivanka Trump is complicit in supporting."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in early May, announced a "zero tolerance" policy on illegal immigration. Earlier, families suspected of crossing the US-Mexico border through illegal means were allowed to stay together until their cases were resolved, however, this is not the case now. Under the current policy, the children are being separated from their parents and are being sent to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for resettlement.
A Department of Homeland Security official, while talking to Reuters, said: "Those apprehended will be sent directly to federal court under the custody of the US Marshals Service, and their children will be transferred to the custody of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.”
Laura St John of the Florence Project, an Arizona nonprofit that provides legal services to migrant families, while talking to MSNBC's Chris Hayes said that the policy has been in effect for months, and it directs border agents to separate children as young as one-year-old from their parents, according to reports.
The New York Times, in an April report, had stated that over "700 children have been taken from adults claiming to be their parents since October, including more than 100 children under the age of four."
A recent report also stated that the HHS had lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children who were placed under its resettlement program. The program is designed to assign the children to their immediate guardian in the country or a sponsor.