Donald Trump, the President of the United States, will soon visit the UK. I’m pleased to say I’ll be on holiday and will be watching the visit – his first since taking office in 2016 - safely, from afar. 
I’d have been tempted to join one of the many protest marches planned had I been at home, in England.
For me, Trump is vulgar and divisive and will use every opportunity for his own gain. I don’t think he should be given any special treatment.
While the three-day trip has been downgraded to a ‘working visit’, President Trump will meet the Queen as well as Prime Minister, Theresa May. 
I’d love to be a fly on the wall with the former. The visit is controversial not least because of Trump’s history of misogyny and vilification of immigrants. 
Few people, particularly in London, can identify with his agenda. 
And now we can add the cruel and immoral policy of using children as pawns in a battle for votes to that list.
Like many, I was sickened and deeply upset by the images of children being taken from their families and kept in caged warehouses along the US southern border. More than 2,300 children were separated from their parents in May and June as part of a new zero tolerance approach to immigration by the President.
Those who’ve supported the President’s separation policy – and shockingly, there are many – have said it’s the immigrants’ own fault – that by entering the US illegally, they have broken the law and so they must pay the price – family separation. 
I’ve read numerous comparisons between migrants trying to cross the US border and seek asylum and criminals who’ve been imprisoned for various crimes and thereby separated from their children - that those children have suffered trauma, too. And yes, they have. Any child separated from a parent is likely to suffer a degree of trauma, but I will never see how this argument can be used to justify the abhorrent and inhumane treatment of these families. The two are not the same.
I am a mother, a daughter. My life has ups and downs but it’s a pretty comfortable one by anyone’s standards. I can’t imagine the strife in another mother’s life that would force her to leave home with her child or children and attempt cross into another country with little more than a bag holding necessities. 
These people, by and large, are fleeing because life is terrifying at home and they would rather run the risk of separation than remain a target of violence. They are looking for a better life – not just because they don’t like the weather or they’d like a better paying job. They see no other route and have – for the most part – run out of options.
Amid a backlash from people around the world and within America, Trump reversed his controversial policy, insisting he would remain tough on immigration but keep families together. 
But that actually means migrant parents and their children are now being detained in prison together. And that’s just those held since the U-turn. 
Hundreds of children still remain in detention camps along the border. Immigration officials have even suggested children, many of whom are now scattered across the US, may never be reunited with their families.
President Trump has presented America’s immigration problems as a national defence issue, a Republican versus Democratic issue and indeed a law and order issue. But the real issue should focus on the innocent children and inhumanity of using them as a bargaining tool to get what he wants – a border wall between Mexico and the US.
I have long held America as a beacon. I have family there, I have lived there and have many fond memories of holidays there. 
I’ve never thought of it as a soft touch; New York can and will chew you up and spit you out if you’re not careful, but I’ve known it mostly to be inspiring, vibrant and welcoming – and, as clichéd as it sounds - it has been a land of opportunity. 
I hope those days are more than just a memory.