Michelle Obama joins Laura Bush in denouncing border family separation practices

Former first lady Michelle Obama is adding her voice to the rising chorus of criticism of the Trump administration’s policy of family separation at the border.

On Twitter Monday, Michelle Obama re-tweeted a message from former first lady Laura Bush promoting a column Bush wrote decrying the policy. Obama added: “Sometimes truth transcends party.”

Laura Bush called the separation policy “cruel” and “immoral” in a guest column for The Washington Post Sunday.

U.S. Border Patrol agents take into custody a father and son from Honduras near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 near Mission, Texas. The asylum seekers were then sent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center for possible separation. U.S. border authorities are executing the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy towards undocumented immigrants. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also said that domestic and gang violence in immigrants’ country of origin would no longer qualify them for political-asylum status. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

“Our 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. These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history,” Bush wrote. “People on all sides agree that our immigration system isn’t working, but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer. I moved away from Washington almost a decade ago, but I know there are good people at all levels of government who can do better to fix this.”

Another former first lady, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on Monday called the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that has separated children from their parents at the southern U.S. border “a moral and humanitarian crisis.”

Speaking at an awards lunch for the Women’s Forum of New York, Clinton said what was happening to families at the U.S.-Mexico border is “horrific.”

“Every human being with a sense of compassion and decency should be outraged,” Clinton said.

The separations stem from a policy that turns all cases of people trying to enter the country illegally over for criminal prosecution. Children are not detained with their parents when those parents are facing a criminal charge, as per U.S. protocol.

President Donald Trump has defended the policy, which has taken nearly 2,000 immigrant children away from their parents.

People attend a rally protesting the separation of children from their families while crossing the US border illegally on June 14, 2018 in New York. (DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

“The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” he added. “Not on my watch,” Trump said Monday.

Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, said she had warned during the campaign that Trump’s hard-line immigration stance would result in family separations.

“Now as we watch with broken hearts, that’s exactly what’s happening,” she said.

The policy has come under increasingly strong criticism, with accounts of children kept in cages and parents not knowing where their children are.

“The test of any nation is how we treat the most vulnerable among us,” Clinton said. “We are a better country than one that tears families apart.”

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks on immigration and law enforcement actions on at Lackawanna College June 15, 2018 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The audience was an invited a group of federal, state and local law enforcement as well as local police academy cadets. (Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

First lady Melania Trump “hates” to see families separated at the border and hopes “both sides of the aisle” can reform the nation’s immigration laws, according to a statement from her office.

Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Mrs. Trump, said Sunday: “She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.” She said Mrs. Trump hopes both sides “can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform.”

While the statement suggested the matter was an issue for Congress, Democratic lawmakers and others have pointed out that no law mandates the separation of children and parents at the border. A new Trump administration policy, which went into effect in May, sought to maximize criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally. More adults were being jailed as a result, which led to their children being separated from them.