Ivanka Trump faces a storm of online criticism for tweeting a photo of her embracing her son, with critics denouncing her as “tone deaf” amid emerging reports of immigrant families being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.
In a tweet captioned, “My <3! #SundayMorning,” the First Daughter shared a photo of herself with her two-year-old son on Sunday.
Twitter users pointed out that her father, President Donald Trump, has overseen a tightening of immigration policy that has split families apart. Reports emerged earlier this month that U.S. border agents have been authorized to separate children from parents who have crossed the border illegally and place them in protective custody as family members face prosecution.
“This is so unbelievably tone deaf,” Brian Klaas, a fellow at the London School of Economics and former Democratic strategist, said on Twitter, “given that public outrage is growing over young kids being forcibly ripped from the arms of their parents at the border – a barbaric policy that Ivanka Trump is complicit in supporting.”
Until recently, families suspected of entering the U.S. illegally could remain intact until their cases were settled. But reports say family separations have been happening for months, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new “zero tolerance” policy in April, according to Reuters.
“Those apprehended will be sent directly to federal court under the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service,” a Department of Homeland Security official told Reuters, “and their children will be transferred to the custody of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.”
More than 700 children have been separated from their parents since October, more than 100 of them below the age of four, the New York Times reports. Another report found that the Department of Health and Human services lost track of more than 1,500 children after placing them with U.S. sponsors.
Social media users responded to Trump’s tweet with outrage.
President Trump tweeted on Saturday that the Democrats are to blame for the policy.