While thousands of American citizens rally to criticize the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance policy,” which has resulted in thousands of migrant children being separated from their parents at the border, President Trump’s daughter and senior advisor Ivanka Trump posted a sweet photo of her family, intact, for a late Father’s Day tribute.
“Happy Father’s Day to my love! Thank you for being such an incredible dad (and husband!). We love you,” Ivanka captioned the photo of herself, her husband Jared Kushner, and their children, Arabella, 6, Joseph, 4, and Theodore, 2.
Sure, lots of people posted photos on Father’s Day lauding the dads in their lives, but it’s hard to ignore that Ivanka’s Instagram post coincided with international outrage over her father’s immigration policy. The reports, photos, and audio tape of migrant children being pulled from their parents and held in caged detention centers these past few weeks have been horrifying, as is the reality that Trump seems to have no problem tuning out the tragedy.
The Department of Homeland Security reported this week that some 2,000 children have been separated from their parents since Attorney General Jeff Sessions enacted a zero-tolerance policy toward illegal immigration on April 6. One Honduran man died by suicide in his padded cell in Texas after his 3-year-old son was physically dragged from his arms, according to the Washington Post. He and his family had requested asylum when they arrived in the U.S. in May.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle have expressed their horror at the policy. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California introduced the “Keep Families Together Act” this month to stop all family separations, and has received support from every single Democrat senator; Senator Ted Cruz announced plans for similar legislation this week. His version is called the Protect Kids and Parents Act.
Even First Lady Melania Trump has spoken out against the separations, saying she “hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform.” And oddly, President Trump himself called the situation “so sad,” despite his administration’s responsibility for the wild number of separated families and despite his ability to change it at any time; he blames Democrats, urging them to pass a broad immigration reform bill that he’ll sign off on rather than implementing a fix to the immediate crisis.
Homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the policy is not intended as a deterrent for illegal immigration, but as a means of enforcing the law. But Sessions said it absolutely is intended as a deterrent.
Ivanka, meanwhile, has not released a statement about the immigration controversy, nor has she made any public moves to fight it. Instead, she posted a photo of herself holding her child tightly in her arms.
And it’s not the first time Ivanka has come under fire for blithely uploading sweet photos of her kids while migrant families suffer. Over Memorial Day weekend, she posted one of herself nuzzling Theodore just as reports emerged that the federal government had “lost track” of 1,500 migrant children.
VIDEO: Ivanka Trump’s Photo With Her Son Has Been Criticized as ‘Tone Deaf’
Since she’s not making any public statements about the migrant children, it’s hard to resist reading into Ivanka’s social media outings. To post one snuggly photo with your children while the country is up in arms about missing children is a little tone-deaf; to repeat the mistake feels almost sinister. Can it really be an accident? Can she really be so unaware of the conversation in America at this moment? It’s her job, as senior advisor to the president, to have that awareness.
Additionally, since taking on an advisory role, she has chosen to formally advocate for mothers (via a fight for paid maternity leave) and children (her last tweet was about her efforts on affordable childcare). How can she then ignore the sounds of young children crying out for their mothers at the border?
Ivanka has still not spoken, but her Instagram followers have.
“You are a disgrace to all women and mothers,” wrote one. “You support an administration that kidnaps children seeking asylum from violence and lock them in cages. You are an evil flaming heap of garbage,” said another.
And from another: “SHOW AMERICAN YOUR COMPASSION!”