Ocasio-Cortez defends Dem lawmaker who said child migrant deaths were 'intentional'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe Memo: Dangers loom for Trump on immigration Students retreating from politics as campuses become progressive playgrounds Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota MORE (D-N.Y.) defended a fellow freshman Democrat who claimed that migrant deaths at the U.S.-Mexico border are an "intentional" part of the Trump administration's immigration policy.

In a tweet, Ocasio-Cortez wrote that Rep. Lauren UnderwoodLauren UnderwoodThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Second Democrat representing Trump district backs impeachment Hillicon Valley: Capital One faces investigation over massive breach | DHS warns of cyber vulnerability in small aircraft | Senate bill would ban 'addictive' social media features MORE (D-Ill.) had "the audacity to say the obvious" after Underwood called the Trump administration's immigration policies and the situation at the southern border "cruel and inhumane" during a House hearing.


The New York congresswoman also accused Republicans of trying to "silence" Underwood.

"Yesterday, GOP moved to silence Lauren Underwood’s words bc she had the audacity to say the obvious: that stealing children away from their parents, trafficking, & caging them w/o end is intended to do harm," Ocasio-Cortez wrote. "They tried to silence her; make her back down. She didn’t. Be proud."

Underwood's remarks Wednesday at a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee were aimed at acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, whom Underwood accused of helping President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE carry out a policy that was leading to "intentional" deaths of children in U.S. custody.


"With five kids that have died ... the evidence is really clear that this is intentional, it’s a policy choice being made on purpose by this administration, and it’s cruel and inhumane," Underwood, who is a nurse, told the DHS chief. Her remarks followed the report of the death of a fifth migrant child in the Trump administration's custody this week.

Her remarks were stricken from the congressional record after a protest from Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersConservatives lash out at CNN for hiring Andrew McCabe Hillicon Valley: House panel subpoenas 8chan owner | FCC takes step forward on T-Mobile-Sprint merger | Warren wants probe into FTC over Equifax settlement | Groups make new push to end surveillance program House Homeland Security Committee subpoenas 8chan owner MORE (R-Ala.), the committee's ranking member.

"You cannot impugn the character of the witness by stating that he intentionally murders children. That is completely inappropriate and her words should be taken down," Rogers said.

McAleenan also fired back during the hearing, calling Underwood's remarks "appalling."

"Our men and women fight hard to protect people in our custody every single day," he said. "We’ve asked for [these] resources three weeks ago ... and we’ve asked for changes in authorities for the last three years that would have prevented this from happening."