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

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez to hold campaign rallies in Los Angeles, Las Vegas Overwhelming majority say social media companies have too much influence: poll 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 UnderwoodRep. Veronica Escobar elected to represent freshman class in House leadership Brindisi, Lamb recommended for Armed Services, Transportation Committees Club for Growth extends advertising against House Dems over impeachment 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.

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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 TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE carry out a policy that was leading to "intentional" deaths of children in U.S. custody.

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"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 RogersHouse passes defense bill to establish Space Force, paid family leave for federal workers Hillicon Valley: FCC moves against Huawei, ZTE | Dem groups ask Google to reconsider ads policy | Bill introduced to increase data access during probes House GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues 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."