The Latest: Melania Trump departs center for migrant kids

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on Melania Trump (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump has left a sprawling Phoenix detention center for immigrant youths after a short visit.

Trump first arrived in Tucson, Arizona, on Thursday and visited with border authorities before making her way to Phoenix, where she was met with about two dozen protesters who propped up a large inflatable of President Donald Trump cloaked in a KKK robe.

The inflatable was propped up during protests at Trump’s rallies in Arizona during the election campaign.

Protesters chanted “Melania Trump is guilty, guilty” and other sayings as they stood outside the facility in 104-degree weather.

Protesters say they are demanding that all children separated from their parents at the border be reunited.


1:15 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump is visiting a migrant facility in Phoenix and asking what she can do to help.

Mrs. Trump said Thursday as she greeted officials from the Southwest Key migrant facility that she was “here to support you.”

She says she wants to see the facility and meet the children being held there after a visit to a similar facility in Texas last week had to be canceled because of floods.

Mrs. Trump was greeted by some protesters as well as an inflatable version of her husband, President Donald Trump.

She’s visiting a classroom that has children’s paintings, the alphabet and classroom rules hanging on the walls.

One painting depicted words among trees, including “diversidad,” ”familia” and “diversity.”


12:45 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump has arrived in Phoenix — the second stop of her trip to Arizona.

The first lady on Thursday will be visiting the Southwest Key Campbell, a Health and Human Services facility where immigrant children are being housed.

Mrs. Trump’s trip comes amid outrage over her husband’s now-suspended policy of separating migrant children from their families when they cross the border illegally. More than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents at the border in recent weeks and some were placed in government-contracted shelters hundreds of miles away from their parents.

She’s expected to participate in a roundtable with staff and medical service Thursday and tour a game room, day care and classroom for younger kids.

Mrs. Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, says the first lady “is really anxious to learn about the entire process.”


12:10 p.m.

Melania Trump is visiting what officials called a short-term holding center for migrant minors in Tucson, Arizona.

It was a series of rooms in a semi-circle, with windows out into the center control room. The doors were open, with people inside.

One young woman inside a room labeled “families” was holding a young child. Just outside the rooms was a cart with baskets of juice, applesauce and crackers.

Mrs. Trump listened to officials talk to her about the facility. She brightened up when a very small boy darted out of the room and stared at her.

“How are you?” she said, smiling.


11 a.m.

First lady Melania Trump says that she’s looking forward to speaking with border patrol officials and touring an intake facility in Arizona Thursday.

Mrs. Trump says as she sits down with officials at a U.S. Border Patrol facility in Tucson that: “I’m here to support you and give my help, whatever I can,” on “behalf of children and the families.”

The first lady is also expected to meet with children and local members of the community during her second trip to the border amid outrage over her husband’s now-suspended policy of separating migrant children from their families when they cross the border illegally.

Most families have yet to be reunited.

Tucson is about an hour from the U.S.-Mexico border.


10:30 a.m.

Melania Trump is risking no fashion distractions on her second trip toward the U.S.-Mexico border, this time to Arizona.

Opting for a bland black shirt, white slacks and flat shoes, Mrs. Trump departed Washington early Thursday for Tucson.

Spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said the first lady is meeting with officials from the Department of Homeland Security and ranchers and children at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Grisham said the first lady is trying to learn about how her husband’s strict immigration policy is playing out on the ground.

A week earlier, she wore a jacket to and from McAllen, Texas that read, “I really don’t care, do u?” in white letters on the back.

Her spokeswoman said there was no hidden message intended, but President Donald Trump tweeted that it was a reference to the “fake news” media.


5:30 a.m.

Melania Trump is headed toward the southern U.S. border for the second time in a week.

She boarded an official plane at Joint Base Andrews wearing a black shirt and white slacks. Her spokeswoman would not immediately confirm her destination, citing security concerns.

The first lady’s wardrobe became an issue last week, when she traveled to McAllen, Texas, wearing a jacket that said, “I really don’t care, do u?” on the back. Mrs. Trump’s spokeswoman said there was no message intended in the jacket. President Donald Trump undercut that statement, tweeting it was about his wife not caring about “fake news.”

Either way, the choice overshadowed the trip to visit officials and migrant children detained at the border under the president’s “zero tolerance” policy to prosecute illegal border-crossers.


1 a.m.

Melania Trump is heading back toward the southern border of the United States.

On Thursday, the first lady is expected to visit immigration centers housing migrants apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Her spokeswoman declined to immediately release details, citing security concerns.

Melania Trump traveled to the border town of McAllen, Texas, last Thursday to meet with officials dealing with families detained at the border. She also met with some children at one of the facilities.

But the trip was overshadowed by a jacket she wore to and from Texas that said on the back: “I really don’t care, do u?” The first lady’s spokeswoman said there had been no hidden message.

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