Republican members of the House Homeland Security Committee voted to remove Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood’s comments from the congressional record on Wednesday after she said that the growing deaths of migrant children in immigration custody are an intentional result of Trump administration policies.
At least six children have died in immigration custody since September; one of those deaths was not revealed by the White House until CBS News reported about it on Wednesday night, causing at least one lawmaker, Rep. Joaquin Castro, to accuse the government of a coverup. Three children have died this year so far, two of them teenagers who have died this month alone.
“I feel like, and the evidence is really clear, that this is intentional,” Underwood said while questioning acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan. “It’s intentional—it’s a policy choice being made on purpose by this administration and it’s cruel and inhumane.”
McAleenan called her words appalling and insisted that DHS has asked for changes for years to prevent the migrant deaths from happening. Republican Rep. Mike Rogers then attempted to reframe Underwood’s comments as accusing McAleenan of murder, moving to strike her words from the record.
“I did not say it was murder. I said that five people have died as a result of a policy choice that he has said,” Underwood began before being interrupted by Rogers. “He has said that he stands by the policy decisions of this administration...and he says he stands by the budget request. This is a policy choice.”
Republicans then voted to strike the comments from the record. I have reached out to Underwood for comment and will update if I hear back.