Melania Trump urged her husband to stop the policy of separating children from their parents on the border, White House officials said.

On Wednesday, under pressure from around the world and even his wife, President Trump signed an executive order to keep the migrant families in detention together.

After signing the order, Trump acknowledged that the first lady and his daughter Ivanka, who has three young children, urged him to make the change. Many people had publicly criticized not only the president, but those around him for not more forcefully and publicly rebuking the policy.

Melania Trump’s office told CNN over the weekend that she “hates to see children separated from their families” but said it was up to both political parties to develop an immigration solution. In the past couple of days, she has increasingly made clear to the president that he should use his power to fix the problem.

Just before Trump told reporters he would reverse course and seek to keep the families together in detention, a White House official said that “from the start Mrs. Trump has been encouraging the president to do all he can to keep families together.”

The first lady often comments about children being precious and vulnerable. But the White House was battling a huge image problem about how its border policy was hurting children. Photos of crying toddlers and what critics are calling “baby jails” – the social services centers holding children taken from their parents – drew widespread criticism.

Melania Trump’s own immigration lawyer even joined the chorus.

“It reminds us of past mistakes. It’s a big disappointment,” said Michael Wildes, who has represented the Slovenian-born first lady on immigration issues.

In an interview, Wildes said the family separation policy evoked the disgraceful internment of Japanese people living in the United States during World War II and the inhumanity of detention in Nazi Germany.

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