The former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) isn’t letting a Democratic lawmaker off easy after she accused the border officials of intentionally causing deaths of immigrant children at the southern border.
Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) said at Wednesday’s hearing with acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan that the “evidence” makes it “really clear that this is intentional, it’s a policy choice being made on purpose by this administration and it’s cruel and inhumane.”
Her remarks come after a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant died at the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday, becoming the fifth death of a Guatemalan migrant child at the border.
The acting DHS secretary said the current situation at the border is causing resources to be depleted — causing the congresswoman to question it as more than a matter of resources.
McAleenan defended border officials and called Underwood’s comment “appalling”:
“Our men and women fight hard to protect people in our custody every single day. 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.”
Ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) called for Underwood’s comment to be “taken down,” which was approved and she could face punishment, as USA Today reported.
Watch the video below:
WATCH: After a dispute over comments by Rep. Underwood about the Trump admin. and the deaths of migrant children at the southern border, Republicans voted to have her comments removed from the record. https://t.co/oOLDQ65elM pic.twitter.com/R5DjGUaH6Q
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 22, 2019
Former acting ICE director Tom Homan told “Fox & Friends” on Friday that Underwood’s accusation is “disgusting.”
Homan noted that over 4,000 migrants found medically distressed were rescued by border officials last year, “so to dishonor them in this way is insulting.”
Border officials “leave the safety and security of their home to go out and defend this nation,” as Homan says. He continued:
“[…] Moral is at an all-time low right now because they didn’t join this agency to change diapers, make formula, … but these men and women are used to arresting people because they violated [the] law and making [them] see a judge. These men and women are now processing these family groups just to release them an hour later. This isn’t the job they signed up for. And for this congressman to attack these men and woman is just disgusting.”
See his reaction below:
While officials at the border are overwhelmed due to a massive increase of immigrants trying to cross the border, as IJR Red reported, McAleenan said during this week’s hearing that it’s only getting worse with “100 percent” of illegal immigrant families being released into communities throughout the U.S.
“Every day that Congress does not act puts more lives at risk and increases the burden on the system,” McAleenan said.