/Democratic congresswoman: Immigrant child deaths are ‘intentional’ Trump administration policy

Democratic congresswoman: Immigrant child deaths are ‘intentional’ Trump administration policy

Lauren Underwood

Republicans argued that Rep. Lauren Underwood violated House rules that prevent members from impugning a witness. | Zach Gibson/Getty Images

The House Homeland Security Committee broke out in a skirmish today after Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) accused the Trump administration of intentionally killing immigrant children at the border.

Underwood’s comments — in which she said a recent string of child deaths were “intentional” and a “policy change” — came during the testimony of acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.

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“The evidence is really clear that this is intentional,” Underwood said. “It’s intentional. It’s a policy choice being made on purpose by this administration, and it’s cruel and inhumane.”

“That’s an appalling accusation,” McAleenan responded. “Our men and women fight hard to protect people in our custody every single day.”

Republicans quickly jumped on Underwood’s comments, arguing that she violated House rules that prevent members from impugning a witness. After repeating her comments a second time, Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) briefly gaveled out the committee amid protests.

When the committee returned, it voted 9-7 to strike Underwood’s comments from the record.

The controversy came two days after a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died in custody near Hidalgo, Texas — the fifth migrant child to due in U.S. custody since December.

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