Immigration

Melania Trump's 'I really don’t care' jacket causes a stir

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US first lady Melania Trump is under fire for wearing a jacket with the words, "I really don't care, do u?" written on its back ahead of a trip to a detention centre.

First Lady Melania Trump wore the khaki green jacket while disembarking from a plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, en-route to an immigration children detention facility in Texas.

The federally-funded Upbring New Hope centre holds around 60 children, aged between five and 17, from Honduras and El Salvador.

The jacket was discarded before her visit of the facility, during which she was dressed in white jeans, a khaki shirt, and white Stan Smith sneakers.

The jacket had been on sale at fashion retailer Zara for US$39, but is now sold out, according to fashion magazine marie clare.

First Lady Melania Trump boards a plane at Andrews Air Force Base.
First Lady Melania Trump boards a plane at Andrews Air Force Base.
AAP

The military-style jacket, with scrawled graffiti on the back, is a contrast to her usual designer label attire.

In the past, the First Lady has worn designs by Christian Dior, Givenchy and Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, often paired with Christian Louboutin shoes. 

Melania Trump's spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, said there was no hidden subtext behind the First Lady’s wardrobe choice.

First Lady Melania Trump at Andrews Air Base. The jacket sells for  US$39.
First Lady Melania Trump at Andrews Air Base. The jacket sells for US$39.
Getty Images

"It's a jacket. There was no hidden message. After today's important visit to Texas, I hope this isn't what the media is going to choose to focus on," she said.

She later posted a message on Twitter, urging the media to focus on issues of substance.

First lady Melania Trump greets police officers before boarding a plane at McAllen Miller International Airport in McAllen, Texas.
First lady Melania Trump greets police officers before boarding a plane at McAllen Miller International Airport in McAllen, Texas.
AAP

 “Today’s visit w the children in Texas impacted @flotus greatly. If media would spend their time & energy on her actions & efforts to help kids – rather than speculate & focus on her wardrobe – we could get so much accomplished on behalf of children. #SheCares #ItsJustAJacket”

Melania Trump’s unannounced visit to the detention centre comes a day after President Donald Trump moved to end the practice of separating immigrant children from their parents.

The Trump administration has been enforcing a “zero tolerance" policy on illegal border crossers since early May.

In a dramatic reversal of his previous stance, Mr Trump signed an executive order to keep families together at the border.

First lady Melania Trump visits the Upbring New Hope Children Center.
First lady Melania Trump visits the Upbring New Hope Children Center.
AAP

But it came after 2,300 children were split from their parents, some in circumstances where border agents informed the parents they were taking the children to get a bath.

"I'm glad I'm here and I'm looking forward to seeing the children," Mrs Trump was reported as saying during a roundtable discussion with social workers and government officials.

"I would also like to ask you how I can help these children to reunite with their families as quickly as possible."

She later inspected the detention facility's schoolroom and chatted with about 20 young girls and boys who had school folders on their desks.

She spoke to many individually through a translator, and as she left the room she told them: "Be kind and nice to each other, OK? Nice to meet you."

In one classroom, children were being educated on the July Fourth Independence Day holiday. On the wall, was a handpainted American flag signed by the children. Melania Trump added her signature. 

First lady Melania Trump signs an American Flag while visiting the Upbring New Hope Children Center.
First lady Melania Trump signs an American Flag while visiting the Upbring New Hope Children Center.
AAP

Video footage of children locked in cage-like enclosures have attracted condemnation and outrage, with Mrs Trump herself advocating an end to the separations.  

Spokesperson Ms Grisham says the unannounced visit "was 100 percent her [Melania’s] idea”.

"She wanted to see everything for herself."

Conscious fashion choice or not, social media users have reacted with disbelief to the First Lady's wardrobe of choice during this particular trip.

One social media user said the incident should prompt people to donate to organisations advocating for immigrant children and their families. 

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