What's happening at the US border

1:03 p.m. ET, June 21, 2018

Trump: "The whole world is laughing at the United States"

President Trump slammed "extremist, open-border Democrats" at the opening of his remarks during his cabinet meeting moments ago.

"That's what they are -- extremist, open-border Democrats."

Trump accused Democrats of creating "a massive child smuggling industry," which he called a disgrace. The US, Trump said, has "the worst immigration laws in the history of the world. The whole world is laughing at the United States and they have been for years."

Trump has made baseless claims against Democrats over the past week for the border crisis.

12:54 p.m. ET, June 21, 2018

What you should know about the detention facility Melania Trump is visiting

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Melania Trump is touring the Upbring New Hope Children's Center in McAllen, Texas. This is not one of the so-called "tender age" facilities, which hold children younger than 5 years old.

Here are the facts behind the facility Trump is at right now:

  • It opened in 2014.
  • There are currently 58 children aged 12 to 17.
  • Most of the children at the facility come to the US unaccompanied (meaning they were not separated from their parents at the border).
  • They usually stay at the shelter for 32 to 45 days, officials said.

12:42 p.m. ET, June 21, 2018

First lady asks detention center: How often can children call their parents?

First lady Melania Trump is in Texas visiting a child detention center near the US-Mexico border. She just asked staffers their about the kind of communication children are allowed to have with their families.

"How many times they speak with their relatives or families per week, for example?" she asked.

Here's how they responded:

"The children are allowed to communicate with their family twice a week. They get a 10-minute phone call. But first we have to ensure that the persons that they're contacting, their families, are indeed their families, so there is a process."

About this detention center:

The facility Trump is visiting mostly houses children ages 12 to 17. Most of them are unaccompanied, not separated from their families.

12:33 p.m. ET, June 21, 2018

Melania Trump asks detention center: How quickly can we reunite these kids with their families?

First lady Melania Trump, speaking during a unannounced visit to a child detention center near the US-Mexico border, thanked the social workers for their "hard work and compassion," and asked what she could do to help reunite the children with their families "as quickly as possible."

Here's her full statement:

Thank you so much for having me here today. I'm glad I'm here and I'm looking forward to seeing the children. But first of all, let me begin to recognize each of you and thanking you for all that you do, for your heroic work that you do every day and what you do for those children. We all know they're here without their families, and I want to thank you for your hard work, your compassion and your kindness you're giving them in these difficult times. I'm here to learn about your facility, which I know you house children on a long-term basis. And I would also like to ask you how I can help these children to reunite with their families as quickly as possible. So thank you again for all that you do, and thank you as well. Thank you, all, for what you do.

Watch her remarks:

12:28 p.m. ET, June 21, 2018

House votes to advance one of the immigration bills

The House voted to advance an immigration bill Thursday that is favored by conservatives and known as the Goodlatte bill, after House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte.

The vote, 226-195, with all Democrats voting against the resolution, was procedural, setting up the debate for the bill itself.

While the House voted to move forward with the bill, it is expected to fail in the final vote, which is scheduled to take place early this afternoon. 

12:24 p.m. ET, June 21, 2018

First look: Melania Trump is visiting a child detention center

The first lady just arrived in McAllen, Texas, where she is visiting a detention facility for children.

She is receiving a briefing right now.

12:19 p.m. ET, June 21, 2018

Here's what Melania Trump's office is saying about her surprise visit to the border

The First Lady’s Communications Director Stephanie Grisham just issued a statement on the surprise border visit:

“First Lady Melania Trump has arrived in Texas to take part in briefings and tours at a nonprofit social services center for children who have entered the United States illegally and a customs and border patrol processing center. 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.”