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

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOvernight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use The Hill's Morning Report - Is US weighing military action against Iran? 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 UnderwoodDemocrats grill FEMA over inflated payments for Hurricane Maria Democrats grill FEMA over inflated payments for Hurricane Maria Youngest black congresswoman says millennial colleagues have 'less fighting over partisan nonsense' 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 TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants 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 RogersDem proposal to ban Pentagon funds for border wall survives House panel votes Dem proposal to ban Pentagon funds for border wall survives House panel votes House panel OKs space military branch 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."