Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan is getting it from all sides this week. Not only did an anonymous source claim to Breitbart that he was not changing the culture at the department to the Make America Great Again paradigm, but the man himself appeared on Capitol Hill before a Congressional committee only to be accused of what amounts to outright murder.
Rep. Lauren Underwood’s questioning of Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan was contentious from the beginning, when the Illinois lawmaker asked him about the effects of separating children from their families at the border. She closed by claiming that the continued poor conditions in which children allegedly were being kept, and the recent death of a fifth child in custody, showed that this was the administration’s goal.
“At this point, with five kids that have died, 5,000 separated from their families, I feel like, and the evidence is really clear, this is intentional,” Underwood said. “It’s a policy choice being made on purpose by this administration, and it’s cruel and inhumane.”
The details of the accounts of the children who died at the border or in the custody essentially bear out that the children were very sick when they arrived. Extraordinary measures were taken to care for the kids and address their illnesses and issues, but sometimes that simply is not enough to stave off the inevitable.
Not that Underwood gave that a thought.
McAleenan said flat out that the deaths were not a policy of the administration, and placed the blame on Underwood and her colleagues.
“That’s an appalling accusation, and our men and women fight hard to protect people in our custody every single day,” he said. McAleenan added that his department asked for resources prior to the latest fatality and that Congress has not responded. He also said that DHS asked for changes “that would have prevented this from happening.”
Underwoods’ remarks were stricken from the record after an appeal by Republican lawmakers.