Saturday 20 October 2018

Ivanka Trump admits the separation of migrant children from detained family members was a low point of her White House tenure

Ivanka Trump was asked about the high point and low point of her time in the White House (Andrew Harnik/AP)
Ivanka Trump was asked about the high point and low point of her time in the White House (Andrew Harnik/AP)
Education secretary Betsy DeVos, Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump walk to Air Force One for a campaign rally in Florida. Photo: AP

Ivanka Trump has said the separation of migrant children from detained family members was a low point of her White House tenure.

While saying she was "vehemently against family separation", she added immigration was "incredibly complex as a topic".

The senior White House adviser also said she does not view the news media as "the enemy of the people", breaking with one of her father's frequent attacks on the press.

President Donald Trump dropped the immigration policy more than a month ago after widespread condemnation from Democrats and Republicans.

Ms Trump remained quiet publicly in the early days of the border crisis, but the president said she privately urged him to find a solution.

She tweeted her thanks after he signed an executive order designed to keep families together.

During an event Thursday hosted by Axios, Ivanka Trump was asked about the high point and low point of her time in the White House.

When the moderator asked if the separation of migrant children from detained families was a low, she agreed.

Noting that her mother was an immigrant who came to the United States legally, Ivanka Trump said this was a "country of laws".

She added: "We have to be very careful about incentivising behaviour that puts children at risk of being trafficked, risk of entering this country with coyotes or making an incredibly dangerous journey alone."

But she said she felt "very strongly" about the issue and "I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children".

 

Asked about the comments, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president had said "he doesn't like the idea of family separation. I don't think anybody does."

Ms Sanders added: "We also don't like the idea of open borders. We don't like the idea of allowing people into our country if we don't know who they are, where they are going and why they're coming.

"The president wants to secure our borders, which is why he has asked Congress to fix the law."

On high points for the administration, Ms Trump cited the president commuting the sentence of Alice Johnson - a woman serving a life sentence for drug offences whose case had been championed by reality television star Kim Kardashian West.

She called Ms Johnson leaving prison "one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen."

Asked if she agreed with the description of the press frequently invoked by her father, Ms Trump said: "No, I don't."

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News