Ocasio-Cortez has compared detention facilities to "concentration camps" but is failing to give the system the financial support it needs to improve conditions, Kennedy told Martha MacCallum Tuesday on "The Story."
"The hypocrisy is breathtaking," he said.
"On the one hand, she says you are running a concentration camp, and then she refuses to provide the president with the money to enlarge the facilities."
The Senate Judiciary Committee member claimed Ocasio-Cortez's "rhetoric" on the matter is not helping.
"I realize that she thinks socialism and illegal immigration and abortion are moral goods," he said, "but we've got a huge problem we are trying to solve here. The congresswoman has basically demagogued the whole thing and I've just about concluded she's more famous than wise."
Officials called on Congress this week to pass a multi-million dollar funding package to help the relevant agencies provide care to children being held in facilities at the border.
Acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner John Sanders urged Congress this week to pass a $4.6 billion emergency funding package which includes nearly $3 billion he says will provide the growing population with adequate care.
“The death of a child is always a terrible thing, but here is a situation where, because there is not enough funding... they can’t move the people out of our custody,” Sanders told the AP.
He said the Border Patrol currently is holding 15,000 people – well beyond its estimated capacity of 4,000.
Earlier Tuesday, a CBP official told Fox News that Sanders will be resigning his position effective July 5.
Ocasio-Cortez was one of several progressive lawmakers who slammed the idea of offering further funding to the strapped agency.
"These radicalized, criminal agencies are destroying families and killing innocent children," a statement from Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., read. Their accusation appeared to refer to deaths of migrant children while in U.S. custody.
Kennedy remarked the Senate's version of the supplemental funding bill is moving well through that chamber but questioned the viability of the legislation on the other side of Capitol Hill.
"I think the bill to give more money to try to improve conditions in the House is being held together by spit," he said.
Fox News' Sam Dorman contributed to this report.