'Astonishingly tone deaf': Department of State criticized for 'Family Travel Hacks' livestream amid immigration controversy

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018
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The U.S. Department of State is being called tone deaf for the timing of a live chat about traveling with families.

As the Trump administration faces criticism for the handling of children who have entered the country illegally, the Department of State hosted a Facebook chat that was met with outrage by social media users.

"Join us for our #FamilyTravelHacks chat!" reads the livestream's description. "Ask us your questions about applying for U.S. passports for your kids, document requirements, and tips to make sure your vacation this summer goes smoothly."

The hosts of the chat encouraged viewers to comment with questions. While some did comment with questions, many of the comments on Facebook and Twitter expressed outrage at the timing of the chat. The administration has come under fire for separating children from their parents, particularly in the past week after it was reported that 1,995 children were separated from 1,940 adults at the U.S.-Mexico border from April 19 to May 31, according to figures obtained by the Associated Press.

"Awww it's so fun to fly with your kids. Your kids who are safe and sound and not locked away in a cage away from anyone and anything they've ever known," commented Facebook user Lisa McDermott.

"This is unbelievable. Every single day I'm amazed at what this administration does. Two white people talking about the privileges they enjoy when traveling. You make me ill," Melissa Cunningham-Henkel wrote.

"This is astonishingly tone deaf given current events," wrote Simone Farber.

The department commented on the video to provide more information about passports, but it did not comment to address the controversy.