NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – First Lady Melania Trump made another solo trip to the southern border Thursday, as President Donald Trump considers a Supreme Court nominee.
The first lady visited a short-term holding center for migrant children in Tucson, Arizona. It was her second trip to the border amid outrage about the president’s now-suspended policy of separating children from their families when they cross the border illegally.
Mrs. Trump met face-to-face with those dealing with her husband’s immigration policies firsthand.
“I am here to support you and give my help, whatever I can for behalf of children and the families,” she said.
During her first stop, the first lady sat down for a roundtable discussion with officials at a U.S. Border Patrol facility, listening to agents describe their daily work.
“It hurts to see the children. They don’t really know what’s going on,” said agent Joyce Silva.
Following the sit-down, Mrs. Trump toured a short-term holding center for migrant minors.
More than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents at the border in recent weeks. Some were placed in government-contracted shelters hundreds of miles away from their parents.
A spokesperson for Mrs. Trump said the first lady is deeply concerned and eager to see what has changed.
Meanwhile, the president was in Wisconsin attending a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Foxconn Technology Group project.
“As soon as I’m finished here, I’m going to hop on that plane, I’m going back to Washington and we’re going to pick ourselves one great United States Supreme Court justice,” he said.
At a rally Wednesday in North Dakota, Trump made it clear that his next Supreme Court nominee will have an impact on the court for a long time to come.
“We have to pick one that’s going to be there for 40 years, 45 years,” he said.
The president will pick from a list of 25 candidates to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced he’s retiring after more than 30 years on the bench. Kennedy was known as the court’s swing vote, often siding with conservatives but also joining liberals in several key rulings.
Trump is expected to choose someone who will move the court to the right.
Democrats, however, are still angry that Republicans blocked former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee before the 2016 election, on the grounds that voters should have a say on the same deal now. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says this situation is much different and the Senate will vote on Kennedy’s replacement in the fall.