In an interview on Face The Nation, Ivanka Trump told host Margaret Brennan that she would not comment on her father’s policy of separating migrant children from their families because “immigration is not part of my portfolio.”
“Obviously, I think everyone should be engaged, and the full force of the U.S. government is committed to this effort of border security, to protecting the most vulnerable. That includes those being trafficked across our border,” she added, avoiding comment on one of the most controversial and damaging policies of the administration, in which she serves as a “senior adviser” to her dad.
Ivanka Trump has consistently tried to avoid getting entangled with the policy despite its centrality to the Trump administration’s approach to immigration.
Last year, as stories circulated of her alleged behind-the-scenes comments that the policy looked bad, she declined to use her massive social media reach — at least 18.5 million followers — or her media platform to speak out against the policy.
But Ivanka Trump has not been entirely silent on the issue. When faced with a question on the policy a few months later, she referred to it as a “low point,” but then went on decry “incentivizing behavior that puts children at risk,” putting the blame on immigrant families, rather than admitting her father’s anti-immigrant policy played a role in harming children.
Later in the year, Ivanka Trump appeared to lie to provide cover for her father’s statement that he approved of refugees being seriously hurt or murdered at the border.
Donald Trump’s chief of staff authored a memo giving troops stationed along the U.S.-Mexico border the power to use “lethal force, where necessary.” In an interview, Donald Trump echoed this official noting, “If they have to, they’re going to use lethal force, I’ve given the okay.”
When a reporter asked Ivanka Trump about the harsh approach, she claimed it hadn’t happened.
“I don’t believe that that’s what he said,” she told ABC News. When reporter Robin Roberts showed her footage of Trump endorsing the approach, Ivanka Trump replied, “He always has to be able to protect the border. He’s not talking about innocents.”
The Trump administration changed policy from previous Republican and Democratic administrations and chose to prosecute all border crossers. This led to children being separated from their families, a harsh outcome that prompted multiple legal challenges.
Family separation resulted in overcrowded detention facilities where disease and mistreatment were documented by government watchdogs.
Federal courts forced the Trump team to return children to their families, but in multiple instances the children were lost in the system and permanently separated from their parents.
With her “portfolio” remark, Ivanka Trump is again sidestepping an unpopular — and bigoted — policy espoused by her father’s administration, while looking to benefit from her prominent position.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.