Heated House hearing over deaths of 5 immigrant children

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WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 02: Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan prepares to testify before the Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee May 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. McAleenan testified on the proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2020 for the Homeland Security Department. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A Democratic lawmaker is blaming the Trump administration for the deaths of five immigrant children in U.S. custody — an assertion that’s led to a heated argument at a congressional hearing.

Republicans are denouncing the comment by Lauren Underwood, an Illinois congresswoman. She’s told the Homeland Security Department’s acting head that “at this point, with five children dead and thousands separated, it’s a policy choice being made by this administration and it’s inhumane.”

Kevin McAleenan says that accusation is appalling, and Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee have argued successfully to remove the comment from the hearing record.

A 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant who’d been in U.S. custody for six days died Monday. He’s the fifth minor from Guatemala to die since December after being apprehended by U.S. border agents

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