Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are yet to speak publicly about the Trump administration’s controversial zero-tolerance immigration policy that has separated more than 2,300 children from their families at the border since May.
The couple on Tuesday didn’t respond to BuzzFeed News when asked about their political and personal positions on the policy that has come under intense criticism by both Democrats and Republicans and has caused widespread public outrage.
They did not respond when asked if they had moral or ethical concerns about children being separated from their parents, or if they planned to visit any of the 2,342 children who have been separated.
Jared Kushner is currently on a diplomacy tour in the Middle East and met the king of Jordan on Tuesday as part of the administration's efforts to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Ivanka Trump attended a GOP fundraising event in Fresno, California, during which a proposed immigration bill was brought up, but the issue of separating immigrant children from their parents was not discussed directly, the Fresno Bee reported.
President Donald Trump and top members of his cabinet have repeatedly defended the separation of immigrant families, with Trump using false information and painting immigrants as subhuman to justify his position.
The zero-tolerance policy announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April has led to the separation of 2,342 immigrant children from their families between May 5 and June 9.
Footage, photos, and audio clips from the border and immigration centers paint a devastating picture of the impact the policy has had on children, many of whom are seen held in cages in border patrol facilities, or heard crying as their parents are taken away by border patrol officials.
The moral implications of her husband’s policy prompted Melania Trump to say that she “hates to see children separated from their families.”
"She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart,” the first lady’s spokesperson said Monday, toeing the administration’s line that calls for a complete overhaul of immigration policy through legislation, instead of ending Trump’s family separation policy.
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner also did not respond to questions about whether they were working to get legislation passed to put a stop to this or if they were finding ways to end the policy without legislation.
Ivanka Trump’s silence on the immigration crisis is particularly obvious as she has modeled herself as the White House advocate for family-friendly issues and has emphasized her role as a mother of three children on social media.
Last month, she was slammed for tweeting a photo of her cuddling her son, amid reports that the US government had lost track of nearly 1,500 immigrant children.
People also called Ivanka out for sharing photos of herself enjoying her children’s company while immigrant kids were being taken away from their mothers under Trump’s policy.
“I bet 2000 kids in detention at the behest of your father would love to hang out with their moms. You have zero morals,” one person commented on Ivanka’s instagram photo with her son Theodore.
Last year, Ivanka had tweeted that she was "heartbroken and outraged" by the images of the victims of Syria's chemical weapons attack — many of whom were children — and she may have influenced her father's decision to retaliate with a missile strike.
Her brother Eric Trump, told the Daily Telegraph at the time, "Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence. I'm sure she said: 'Listen, this is horrible stuff.'"
On Sunday, as journalists and lawmakers reported on immigrant children being held in cages during a visit to a border patrol facility in Texas, Ivanka posted a smiling picture of her family to wish Jared Kushner a happy Father’s Day.
“You are so fortunate,” one Instagram user said. “It’s time to speak out on the heartless family separations, Ivanka! Toddlers are suffering and their young brains will bear damage from this for years. Do something if you truly care about families other than your own.”