Political News

Melania Trump: 'I was blindsided' by zero tolerance immigration policy

Posted October 12, 2018 11:28 p.m. EDT

— First lady Melania Trump said she was "blindsided" by the administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy that led to family separations at the southern border and it prompted her unannounced visit there in June.

"I saw it on the news, and I reacted right away," Trump said in an interview for ABC News' special "Being Melania," which aired Friday night. "It was unacceptable for me to see children and parents separated. It was heartbreaking. And I reacted with my own voice."

Asked if she disagreed with the administration's zero-tolerance policy, Trump said, "Yes and I let him (the President) know. "I didn't know that that policy would come out. I was blindsided by it. I told him at home, and I said to him that I feel that's unacceptable, and he felt the same."

Trump said she would tell parents who are still separated from their children "to keep strong and that time will come. Everything needs to go through the court system."

Trump also was asked about her parents' path to citizenship during the interview. Viktor and Amalija Knavs obtained citizenship through the chain migration policy her husband derides.

"I believe in the policies that my husband put together because I believe that we need to be very vigilant who's coming to the country," she said.

She added that she believes parents of Americans should be allowed to come to the United States, but said "we need to vet them, we need to know who they are," something she said she has told her husband, and "he agrees."

Pressed on the issue, Trump said, "I think he believes the same, that chain migration, he doesn't want to just cut it off completely. We need to vet the people, and we need to make sure they believe in our system."