UPDATED 7:45 AM PT — Thursday, May 23, 2019
Top Democrats are blaming immigration officials for the deaths of sick illegal immigrant children in detention. Illinois Democrat Lauren Underwood claimed the deaths of five minors were a result of — what she called — the department’s intentional child separation policy.
She made her remarks during a House hearing on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget Wednesday. Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan responded, saying the accusations are “appalling” and inaccurate.
DHS officials said child separation policies stems from the 1997 Flores ruling, adding, the deaths are a result of human-smugglers bringing gravely ill children to the U.S.
“Our men and women fight hard to protect people in our custody every single day,” stated McAleenan. “We’ve asked for these resources three weeks ago, and hasn’t been responded to by Congress and we’ve asked for changes in authorities for the last three-years that would have prevented this from happening.”
In response to Underwood’s claims, Alabama Republican Mike Rogers said the Democrat is accusing the U.S. government of murdering children, which is not true.