First lady Melania Trump visits detained immigrant children

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MCALLEN, Texas (Reuters) – Melania Trump, wife of U.S. President Donald Trump, went on a damage-control mission for her husband on Thursday with a visit to a border detention facility where children separated from their parents were being held.

U.S. first lady Melania Trump listens during a roundtable meeting at the Lutheran Social Services of the South “Upbring New Hope Children’s Center” near the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen Texas, U.S., June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The first lady, whose pressure was a factor in Trump’s decision to sign an executive order on Wednesday keeping immigrant children together with their parents, left the White House quietly on Thursday morning and flew to Texas for the visit.

“Ivanka feels very strongly, my wife feels very strongly about it, I feel very strongly about it. I think anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it. We don’t like to see families separated,” Trump said Wednesday, referring to his daughter Ivanka.

Her trip to Texas was the most high profile public appearance Mrs. Trump had made since undergoing a surgical procedure for a benign kidney condition on May 14. The procedure prompted her to drop largely out of sight for days.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Lisa Lambert

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