Melania Trump visits another border facility, leaves controversial jacket at home

The images included rows of young children sleeping inside a caged holding cell with foil bed sheets under the glare of bright lights inside a warehouse-style building

Jeff Sessions was already under fire for his policy separating immigrant children from their parents when he was filmed joking about the children's plight at a speech to a conservative foundation this week, igniting widespread protest.

A federal judge ruled that United States immigration agents could no longer separate immigrant parents and children caught crossing the border from Mexico illegally and must work to reunite those families that had been split up in custody.

Melania Trump returned to the border Thursday to meet face-to-face with those dealing with her husband's hardline immigration policies firsthand.

The choice spawned a slew of speculation about what the first lady, a former model, may have meant. Her spokeswoman said it was simply "a jacket" with "no hidden message".

The decision provoked a storm of criticism and speculation as to whether it was directed at anyone from her husband, to the media to the children to no one at all, and spawned copy-cat jackets from people saying they did care.

But Trump also sought to connect with the families and children being housed in Tuscon by touring a short-term holding facility where people crossing the border illegally are taken.

"The administration's practice of separating families is cruel, plain and simple", New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in an emailed statement. Another classroom had five cribs lined up against a wall.

Agents said that children more frequently were apprehended unaccompanied at the border.

The first lady hit the road again Thursday to visit another immigration camp, but this time, she didn't wear a controversial jacket.

"She recognizes it's a complex issue", Grisham said.

Police repeatedly warned several dozen demonstrators on Campbell Avenue to stay on the sidewalk as they gathered in front of the Southwest Key facility housing migrant children.

"Thank you for all your hard work that you do, and I know how unsafe and difficult your daily jobs are", Trump said at a briefing with border patrol and immigration enforcement officials and local ranchers.

Anticipating a possible trip to Phoenix, protesters also gathered outside a Southwest Key facility in the city's west side.

Trump's spokeswoman declined to immediately release details about her planned stops.

"Migration is a human right".

More than 2,300 migrant children were separated from their parents after US President Donald Trump's administration began a "zero tolerance" policy last month, seeking to prosecute all adults who crossed the border illegally, including those travelling with children.

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