Former Democratic presidential nominee, Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Clinton had a lengthier response, speaking about the policy to the Women's Forum of New York and later tweeting her remarks.
JUST IN: "That is an outright lie," Hillary Clinton says of Trump White House saying separation of families at the US border is mandated by law. pic.twitter.com/iTMEmzRzss
"What's happening to families at the border right now is a humanitarian crisis. Every parent who has ever held a child in their arms, every human being with a sense of compassion and decency, should be outraged," she tweeted Monday afternoon. "Despite what this White House claims, separating families is not mandated by law. That is an outright lie, and it's incumbent on all of us – journalists and citizens alike – to call it just that."
She continued: "Those who selectively use the Bible to justify this cruelty are ignoring a central tenet of Christianity. Jesus said 'Suffer the little children unto me.' He did not say 'let the children suffer.'"
What’s happening to families at the border right now is a humanitarian crisis. Every parent who has ever held a child in their arms, every human being with a sense of compassion and decency, should be outraged.
I still believe in the vision we share for our country. We will elect politicians and enact legislation to protect the most vulnerable among us – but first, we have to address the urgent needs of families at the center of this crisis. Give today. Please. https://t.co/VEAP7b5qNo
Former first lady Rosalynn Carter also issued a statement slamming the policy as “disgraceful.”
“When I was first lady, I worked to call attention to the plight of refugees fleeing Cambodia for Thailand,” her statement read. “I visited Thailand and witnessed firsthand the trauma of parents and children separated by circumstances beyond their control. The practice and policy today of removing children from their parents’ care at our border with Mexico is disgraceful and a shame to our country.”
"I live in a border state," Bush wrote. "I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart."
According to The Associated Press, the policy, which started last month, "sought to maximize criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally," leading to more adults in jail, separated from their children.
"Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso," Bush continued. "These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history."
She added: "In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis? I, for one, believe we can."
First lady Melania Trump also shared her thoughts on the issue Sunday.
"Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform," said her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, according to CNN. "She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."