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Monday 21 October 2019

First ladies past and present voice concerns over separation policy

Children are being separated from their parents in a crackdown on the US border.

Michelle Obama echoed Laura Bush’s criticism over immigration controls (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Michelle Obama echoed Laura Bush’s criticism over immigration controls (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

By Associated Press Reporters

Former first lady Michelle Obama has adding her voice to the rising chorus of criticism of the Trump administration’s policy of family separation at the US border.

On Twitter, Michelle Obama re-tweeted a message from former first lady Laura Bush promoting a column she wrote decrying the policy.

Mrs Obama added: “Sometimes truth transcends party.”

Laura Bush is the wife of Republican President George W. Bush.

She called the separation policy “cruel” and “immoral” in a guest column for The Washington Post on Sunday.

Laura Bush condemned the new crackdown (Carl Court/PA)

Current First Lady Melania Trump, who has tended to stay out of contentious policy debates, has waded into the issue.

Her spokeswoman said Mrs Trump believes “we need to be a country that follows all laws”, but also one “that governs with heart”.

“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,” spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said.

Another former first lady, former US secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the “zero tolerance” policy “a moral and humanitarian crisis”.

Speaking at an awards lunch for the Women’s Forum of New York, Mrs Clinton said what was happening to families at the US-Mexico border is “horrific”.

“Every human being with a sense of compassion and decency should be outraged,” Mrs Clinton said.

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