Melania Trump stepped out in a rose-colored coat on Thursday afternoon for an unannounced visit to an immigrant children detention center in McAllen, Texas. She may as well have been wearing rose-colored glasses.
During a brief round table discussion with officials working at the Upbring New Hope Center for Children at the U.S.-Mexico border, Melania was given lovely picture of life inside the facility, one that contradicts the many reports that have come out of other centers in recent days.
It is of note that of the 55 children at the particular facility, about ten percent (so only 5-6) were separated from their parents. The remaining children arrived at the border unaccompanied. As noted by CNN correspondents, these are not the tender age facilities housing toddlers or the converted warehouse stores where other separated children are being detained.
In a statement to CNN, her communications director Stephanie Grisham said, "She wants to see what's real ... She wanted to see as close to what she had been seeing on TV. She wants to see a realistic view of what's happening."
For the event, Melania arrived clad in a short, button-down collared coat paired with white pants—a more casual look than we're used to seeing, though not totally out of her wheel house. (She did, however, swap her usual go-to pointed-toe stilettos for sneakers.)
Like her past two daytime events—not counting the tea with the Spanish Queen on Tuesday, for which she wore an olive-colored Valentino dress—she seems buttoned-up in almost militaristic-inspired garb. In fact, when she was boarding the plane in Maryland to head to Texas, she stepped out in an olive green military-style trench. The effect? She means business.
The subtle style evolution from that hot pink high-fashion Delpozo coat to a more muted, neutral and unfussy looks may be a reflection of Melania's growing role within the White House, starting with her Be Best campaign. In fact, she's almost exclusively stepped out in blazers, trench coats or utilitarian-inspired shirt dresses for daytime events since the beginning of the year.
At the round table discussion, to which she invited multiple press outlets, Melania merely skimmed the surface when speaking with officials. "I'm sure they're very happy and they love to study," Trump said of the immigrant children. "They love to go to school."
An official from the center nodded in agreement and added, "They refer to these as shelters but this is really a home ... We see them smile and we see them giggle. It's really fantastic."
In a statement to Time, her office said, "Her goals are to thank law enforcement and social services providers for their hard work, lend support and hear more on how the administration can build upon the already existing efforts to reunite children with their families.”
On Wednesday, President Trump issued an Executive Order stating that children will no longer be separated from their parents. The "zero tolerance" policy will, however, still be enforced, meaning immigrant children will still be detained, albeit with their families.