US First Lady Melania Trump has expressed concern over a controversial policy that separates families who illegally enter the country.
Her comments follow growing outrage over the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" stance on immigration.
Figures show that 2,000 children have been separated from parents at the Mexico border in the past six weeks.
A spokesperson for Melania Trump said: "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.
"She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."
People who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, sit in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas. Image: U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP
Former First Lady Laura Bush has strongly criticised the policy.
In an article for the Washington Post, she wrote:"I live in a border state. 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."
Democratic lawmakers have been working to drum up support for legislation barring the practice of children being taken from their parents at the border - and have called for Republican senators to support the bill.
President Trump, meanwhile, has claimed Democrats can address the issue by working with Republicans on immigration legislation.
Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change! This is why we need more Republicans elected in November. Democrats are good at only three things, High Taxes, High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2018