First lady Melania Trump's green Zara jacket - the one reading "I really don't care, do u?" - has opened up a world of memes. The first lady signed it as well. "She thinks that it's important that children stay with their families". A decision to wear high-heeled pumps as she headed to visit Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston was met with a backlash, although she later changed into sneakers.
The first lady commented in a written statement Thursday after she returned from touring the Upbring New Hope Children's Center in McAllen, Texas.
Her second scheduled stop, at the Ursula Border Patrol Processing Center, a Customs and Border Protection intake center, was canceled because of flooding in McAllen. "It is my hope that Members of Congress will finally reach across the aisle and work together to solve this problem with common sense immigration reform that secures our borders and keeps families together". The first lady's visit came the morning after President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting the practice of separating families that entered the USA illegally.
Critics assumed that she was making a statement about the immigrant children who were separated from their families. The facility housed 55 boys and girls, ages 12-17, on Thursday, but only about six of them had been separated from parents, officials said.
"These children, a lot of them come here alone without parents?" she asked. Maybe it was meant to tell everyone that she was not part of forming said policy, or not responsible for conveying everyone's outrage about said policy. She thanked the staff for their compassion and kindness and said she wanted to hear more about how her husband's administration could build on efforts to reunite children with their families. She learned the children are allowed a 10-minute phone call twice a week.
Kids applauded her when she left one of the classrooms she visited, and she left behind a signed American flag when she departed the shelter. The words, "Welcome! First Lady" were written in black marker across the red and white bars. Staff said the children, who are mostly from Guatemala, typically spend between 42 and 45 days at the facility, which is operated by a Lutheran social services organization contracted by the government.
Asked earlier what message the first lady was trying to send, Mrs. Trump's spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said: "It's a jacket".
The reporters in the press pool that accompanied her apparently didn't see it; photographers did notice it and brought it up with Grisham later during the surprise visit to McAllen, Texas, to meet children separated from their parents at the Texas border with Mexico. Grisham underscored that message with a tweet and the hashtags #SheCares and #ItsJustAJacket.
During her visit, Mrs. Trump toured a children's shelter and attended a briefing on the status of immigrant children.
To accept the idea she just threw the Zara jacket on in practically the same situation because - hey, it was close at hand and she was maybe a little bit cool (or something like that) is simply unbelievable.
Does the jacket actually hold a hidden meaning? "She feels the executive order yesterday paved the way forward but there is still more to be done and she wants to lend her support". But here's the thing: The first lady has had some experience with the attention paid when she boards planes. "She told him "I am headed down to Texas" and he was supportive".
Mrs. Trump, whose focus as first lady is on child well-being, appears to have been among those pushing him to act.