The ongoing crisis of migrant families being separated after arriving at the U.S.' southern border has led to a lot of emotional commentary. One of the latest additions to that category was Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski calling Ivanka Trump "sick" after Ivanka tweeted a message thanking her father — whose policies caused the crisis — for bringing families back together.
"Thank you @POTUS for taking critical action ending family separation at our border," Ivanka tweeted in June after Trump signed an executive order ending the zero tolerance policy that led to the separations. "Congress must now act + 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."
Brzezinski took issue with this comment on Friday in a segment discussing one migrant mother who had been reunited with her daughter after the two had been apart for 55 days.
"For some reason, some people who work for President Trump, including his daughter, are twisting this and actually thanking President Trump for creating moments like this," Brzezinski said. "How sick, how sick for someone in the White House to tweet, thank you to Donald Trump for these reunions."
"Because these reunions, they should have never happened. These children should have never been taken away from their parents," Brzezinski continued, later repeating her previous sentiments about the administration:
Thank you, President Trump? How sick. And how twisted. ‘We are doing this with our policy and we are twisting the truth to make it look like the president created a happy day for these people?’ How utterly sick. This is not where we need to be.
The separations began in May, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the "zero tolerance" policy for migrants crossing into the country illegally, which effectively meant that anyone caught crossing the border would be immediately sent for prosecution. Minors caught along with them would be sent into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. According to Time, both Sessions and Trump immediately started blaming the Democrats for the children separated from their family. This was a falsehood, though, as it was Trump's new zero tolerance policy that directly resulted in the separations. Trump's repeated claims that Democrats in Congress could have prevented the whole thing were false, as Washington Post's Fact Checker laid out. The matter didn't come down to Democratic obstruction in Congress, but rather to the decision by the Trump administration to enforce the zero tolerance policy.
While Ivanka didn't attempt to falsely call out congressional Democrats in the same way that her father did, her claim from the June 20 tweet that "Congress must act" reinforces Trump's claim that the separations were happening because of immigration legislation. When Melania Trump issued her thoughts on the subject, through her spokesperson in a comment to CNN, she made essentially the same claim.
"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," said Melania's communication director Stephanie Grisham.
Brzezinski's comments, though, centered on the fact that Ivanka had celebrated her father's action to end the policy that he himself created, making her tweet doubly disingenuous. And while news of individual families being reunited have grabbed headlines and thrilled people looking for heartwarming moments, the whole situation is still in a state of chaos. According to the New York Times, the administration asked that a federal judge give them more time to complete the reunifications because the process is proving to be so difficult.
So, despite the "critical action" from the POTUS that Ivanka mentioned in her tweet, the crisis is far from over.