In a rare mediation, the first lady’s spokeswoman said she wanted Republicans and Democrats to work together to achieve a “successful immigration reform”. More than 2,000 children have been removed from their families since the new approach was introduced six weeks ago.
Her criticism of the protocol of separating immigrant kids from their parents should they cross the border illegally also came in the wake of the leader’s recent remarks that the Democrats were to blame for the policy being introduced.
Former first lady Laura Bush joined in the outrage and blasted Mr Trump’s policy as “cruel” and “immoral” and added “it breaks my heart”.
The wife of George W Bush wrote in the Washington Post comparing the detention of kids to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
She wrote: “I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel.
She added the US government “should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso”.
Under the protocol, adults are being detained and prosecuted and their children are shipped off to separate shelters in a shake-up of the past reforms, which saw many illegal immigrants allowed to remain at liberty while awaiting proceedings.
A spokeswoman for Melania Trump said: “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.
“She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws but also a country that governs with heart.”
Mrs Trump, who moved from her native Slovenia to the US where she married her husband in 2005, often campaigns on behalf of children.
Her comments come in the wake of hundreds of children kept in giant cages inside a Walmart store in Texas and given tin foil to use as blankets.
Mr Trump himself said he “hates to see separation of parents and children” but blamed it on Democrats for pursuing a “horrible and cruel legislative agenda”.
A vote on the immigration bill could take place next week after Mr Trump meets with Republicans in Congress tomorrow.