Ivanka Trump Says Family Separation Was A “Low Point” For Her, But It’s “Complicated”

Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Ivanka Trump spoke out about family separation at the U.S.-Mexican border on Thursday, Aug. 2. President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka said family separation was a "low point" for her and that she was “very vehemently against family separation.”

During an on-stage interview with Axios broadcast on C-SPAN 2, Trump was asked about her high and low points in the White House.

Mike Allen of Axios noted to Ivanka that many lawmakers had said the family separation was a low point of the Trump administration and asked her to comment.

Ivanka responded:

"That was a low point for me as well. I feel very strongly about that, and I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children. ... I think immigration is incredibly complex as a topic, illegal immigration is incredibly complicated. I am a daughter of an immigrant, my mother grew up in Communist Czech Republic, but we are a country of laws."

But Ivanka also noted the problems she believes come with being too lax about immigration.

"We have to be very careful about incentivizing behavior that puts children at risk of being trafficked, at risk of entering this country with coyotes or making an incredibly dangerous journey alone. These are not easy issues, these are incredibly difficult issues and like the rest of the country, I experience them in a very emotional way."

The border separation Ivanka was referring to occurred after the Trump administration enacted a “zero-tolerance” policy that cracked down on illegal immigration and ended up separating thousands of children from their families. Although Trump signed an executive order that would stop the future separation of families in June, CNN reported that the government didn’t meet the deadline to reunite families last week and one in three migrant kids were still separated from their families for various reasons.

The New York Times has reported that Ivanka is known to have her father’s ear, and she met with him last month to discuss family separation. At the time, she offered to help her father speak to Congress to come up with a legislative solution to the border crisis, according to CNN.

As the Axios interview — which was part of an Axios Newsmakers conversation about workforce development that took place at D.C.’s Newseum — continued, Ivanka touched on her high points in the White House as well. She specifically noted the fact that her father granted clemency for Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old great-grandmother who would have served a life sentence for a nonviolent drug crime.

During the Axios interview, Ivanka also spoke about paid family leave and the media, breaking with her father on the issue of the media. President Trump has repeatedly referred to the media as the “enemy of the American people” But Ivanka said she doesn’t think the media is the enemy, although she did mention that she has been covered in stories she knew were not "fully accurate."

Some folks on Twitter noted that people shouldn’t let Ivanka’s comments allow them to forget about all the damage that was done by family separation.

CNN strategist Symone D. Sanders noted on Twitter, "Ivanka Trump is here to make this all seem normal. A reminder that it is not. Also, family separations are still happening.”

Ivanka’s comments garnered plenty of attention and show that the conversations surrounding family separation aren’t over yet.