GOP lawmaker defends federal authorities after second migrant child dies in custody

Rep. Pete KingPeter (Pete) Thomas KingBerkeley professor warns deepfake technology being 'weaponized' against women Hillicon Valley: Harris spikes in Google searches after debate clash with Biden | Second US city blocks facial recognition | Apple said to be moving Mac Pro production from US to China | Bipartisan Senate bill takes aim at 'deepfake' videos Senators unveil bipartisan bill to target 'deepfake' video threat MORE (R-N.Y.) called the deaths of two migrant children in federal custody "tragic," but added that blaming U.S. immigration officials would be “wrong.” 

King's comments, in an interview with Fox News, come after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said this week a second child had died in its custody, prompting House Democratic leaders to call for an investigation. 

King referred to the agency as ICE, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a separate organization from the CBP, though both operate under the Department of Homeland Security.

“Obviously those deaths are tragic. Certainly anytime kids die it's terrible,” King said. “But as far as I know, there is no evidence that ICE did anything wrong here.”

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Reports that an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy died after developing a fever come just weeks after a 7-year-old girl died from dehydration and shock in CBP custody.

King said based on the information and evidence he is aware of, there is nothing that indicates that there was any wrongdoing in the handling the children.

“I think anytime you have conditions like this where people are coming up, many of whom have bad health to begin with, they are living in terrible conditions, they come up in a caravan or whatever that this can happen,” he said.

King said he was "reluctant to pile on" blame on immigration authorities. 

"I think these are the only two children that have died, certainly in recent memory," he said.

King said the “terrible conditions” migrant children live in are similar to those experienced by children living in housing projects in New York City.

“I know in New York City in housing projects you hear of kids dying, unfortunately that can happen when people are living in those conditions,” he said.

King also praised Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele Nielsen Trump's family separation policy has taken US to 'lowest depth possible,' says former immigration lawyer Four heated moments from House hearing on conditions at border facilities Chuck Todd on administration vacancies: 'Is this any way to run a government?' MORE‘s planned trip this week to the U.S.-Mexico border.