US President Donald Trump’s daughter posted a picture on Twitter on Sunday, in which she is seen cuddling her two-year-old son. Ivanka Trump’s photo with her son, amidst reports of children being taken from their mothers by US border agents, has earned her backlash. On any other day, this picture would have melted a million hearts on social media.  After all, it is just an image exuding the warmth of motherhood. But the timing of this picture could not have been worse.

The Trump administration has been facing criticism for increased criminal prosecutions of parents entering the United States illegally in recent months. The children of such parents have been torn away from their families and placed in protective custody. Earlier, families suspected of crossing the border illegally were allowed to stay together until their cases were resolved. This “aggressive cleansing” of the U.S. soil, to rid it of “illegal immigrant” should not come at the cost of parents being separated from their children.

People cannot ignore that Ivanka has chosen to be a mere spectator, despite having the power to influence this policy.

Insensitive to the pain of parents whose children are missing

A report by The New York Times suggests that more than 700 children have been taken from adults claiming to be their parents since October, including more than 100 children under the age of 4. But that’s not it. A separate report by the same publication says that the Department of Health and Human Services has lost track of nearly 1,500 unaccompanied migrant children it placed with sponsors in the United States. This has raised major concerns about the well-being of these children, as they could fall in the hands of human traffickers or even be used as labourers by people posing as relatives.

To have one’s child snatched away from their arms is every parent’s worst nightmare.

There should be other effective and less heart-wrenching ways for the Trump administration to put his “zero tolerance” policy in effect. Deportation of entire families caught crossing over illegally being one. But to separate children not even old enough to eat on their own is barbaric. Which is why Ivanka’s photograph seems so inappropriate.

Ivanka Trump indeed has the right to share the joys of motherhood with the entire world. On any other day, this photograph would not have come across as insensitive. But it becomes a tease when you consider that she is a White House Advisor. We also know that Ivanka holds a considerable influence over her father. The least we expect from her is to raise her voice against these separations.

Yes, it is illegal to cross international borders without proper papers. But is it a crime big enough to deserve a torture of this capacity?

Most people seem to think that this is Trump administration’s method to deter immigrants from crossing over illegally. It is this deliberation which makes it diabolical. However, there are a lot of comments on social media, wishing a similar fate as these mothers on her. Is that fair to her child, whose only fault would be that he was born in the Trump household?

I am a mother, and I can understand the pain of those who were separated from their children. No mother deserves to be conferred with such fate. Not even Ivanka.

The Trump scion seems to be living in a bubble of self-absorption. It is not clear which is more baffling. Her indifference to what is happening in a nation run by her father, or her choice to do nothing about it. While one can only give love to her child, we wish that the mother in her finds some empathy. This is the least one mother could do for another.

Photo Credit: Twitter

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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