One day after President Trump signed an executive order meant to end his administration's migrant family separations, the first daughter voiced her thoughts on the issue once again. In a tweet on Thursday, Ivanka Trump called for "reuniting families" already separated at the border, an issue that officials in her dad's administration have been unclear about addressing.
"Now that an EO has been signed ending family separation at the border, it is time to focus on swiftly and safely reuniting the families that have been separated," Trump tweeted. She offered no suggestions as to how and did not elaborate on her tweet.
On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order intended to put to an end the practice of tearing apart migrant families that cross the border illegally. The practice, which was officially enacted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in May as part of the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy, sparked a national outcry. While Trump's order is meant to detain families together instead of separating them, his "zero-tolerance" policy remains intact.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has said that 2,342 children have been separated from their parents since May. Trump's executive order offers no plan to reunite these thousands of children in detention — including babies and toddlers — with their parents, some of whom have already been deported back to their countries of origin.
As it stands, the DHS — along with Sessions' Justice Department — is in charge of locking up these children after separating them from their families, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for taking care of them.
On Wednesday evening after Trump signed his order, journalists were scrambling to find out whether the DHS or HHS had a plan for reuniting these thousands of children with their families. Officials from both departments appeared unclear as to which one was even in charge.
As anger over family separations spilled over in the past week, so did pressure on Ivanka Trump to speak up about the issue. Weeks ago, the first daughter was widely criticized for a photo she posted with her son as more and more reports about family separations led to growing outrage.
She remained silent on the issue for weeks, further stoking frustration. On Tuesday, while meeting with lawmakers to discuss family separations at the border, President Trump reportedly said that Ivanka Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had told him to address the issue, and that the "images" weren't good. Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who was in the meeting, told NPR that Ivanka Trump "had encouraged him to end this."
Maggie Haberman, a New York Times reporter, later tweeted that Trump went to her father and told him, "Daddy, what are we doing about this?"
Publicly, however, the first daughter remained silent on the issue — until minutes after her dad signed the executive order. Trump tweeted on Wednesday, "Thank you
@POTUS for taking critical action ending family separation at our border. Congress must now act [and] find a lasting solution that is consistent with our shared values;the same values that so many come here seeking as they endeavor to create a better life for their families."
That tweet similarly sparked a massive backlash. Many on Twitter called her out for praising her dad for ending a practice his administration put into place. (Donald Trump has repeatedly blamed Democrats for family separations, and his officials have contradicted themselves several times over as to whether this practice was law and if it could be undone via executive order.)
It's unclear what Ivanka Trump intends to do about reuniting the families her dad's administration separated. But given that the departments supposedly in charge of the issue haven't seemed to figure this out, it's unlikely that the first daughter has a plan in place, either.