Washington (AFP) - Ivanka Trump is facing an online backlash for tweeting what one critic called a "tone deaf" photo of herself cuddling her son as outrage grows over a federal government policy to separate the children of undocumented migrants from their parents.
The eldest daughter of President Donald Trump, who serves as an advisor to her father, posted the picture of her with her son on Sunday, with the caption: "My <3! #SundayMorning."
Critics were quick to point to a "zero tolerance" policy announced earlier this month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that authorizes border security agents to take away the children of people who enter the United States unlawfully.
The government places such children in foster homes, but Steven Wagner, a senior official in the Department of Health and Human Services told a congressional committee last month the government was "unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475" minors after attempting to contact their sponsors in the last three months of 2017.
"Isn't it the just the best to snuggle your little one -- knowing exactly where they are, safe in your arms? It's the best. The BEST. Right, Ivanka? Right?" tweeted comedian Patton Oswalt.
"This is so unbelievably tone deaf, given that public outrage is growing over young kids being forcibly ripped from the arms of their parents at the border — a barbaric policy that Ivanka Trump is complicit in supporting," added Brian Klaas, a political scientist at the London School of Economics.
Many others tweeted using the #WhereAreTheChildren hashtag.
Donald Trump, for his part, blamed opposition Democrats for the "horrible law" in a tweet on Saturday -- though there is no law mandating the policy and it was not immediately clear what he may have meant.