Four heated moments from House hearing on conditions at border facilities

House Democrats clashed with Trump administration officials on Friday during a contentious hearing on the treatment of migrants, especially children, at U.S. facilities along the border.

Congressional Democrats grew emotional at several points during the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing after receiving testimony about neglect and poor conditions at detention facilities.

Republicans and Trump officials often grew angry themselves, lashing out at their Democratic colleagues over the rhetoric used by some members of Congress to describe Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials and the conditions in which migrants are kept.

ADVERTISEMENT

Here are some of the top moments from Friday's hearing.

Ex-ICE chief spars with Democrat over child separation: 'Your comments are disgusting'

During one particularly contentious moment of Friday's hearing, Rep. Jesús García (D-Ill.) clashed with former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) chief Thomas Homan, accusing Homan of not caring about migrant child deaths because the children do not "look like" his own children.

"How can you possibly allow this to happen under your watch?" the congressman asked. "Is it because these children don’t look like children that are around you?"

"Your comments are disgusting," Homan replied. "For you to sit there and insult my integrity and my love for my country and for children — that's why this whole thing needs to be fixed! And you're the member of Congress. Fix it."

House Democrat snaps at Homan: 'I’m not calling on you, sir'

Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyDemocrat unveils bill requiring banks to identify suspicious activity related to guns Brindisi, Lamb recommended for Armed Services, Transportation Committees Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite MORE (D-Va.) also battled Homan at Friday's hearing, shouting down the former ICE official for allegedly allowing migrants to be treated as "subhumans" by ICE personnel and criticizing the "hardly humane care" they have received in custody.

“Is there no limit to what you will justify in this administration when it comes to the mistreatment of our fellow human beings, and do you have no shame about the fact, as our colleague said this morning, it’s all done in the shadow of the American flag?” a visibly emotional Connolly asked.

Homan interrupted, telling Connolly he was "extremely frustrated" by the congressman's characterization.

"I don't care!" Connolly responded. "You're not at the border right now! You're in a hearing room! It's my time!"

Ocasio-Cortez, former ICE chief spar over child separation, 'zero tolerance' policy

The issue of family separations was also the center of a back-and-forth between Homan and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezLouisiana governor wins re-election White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations Ocasio-Cortez voices support for Taylor Swift in artist's battle to perform her songs MORE (D-N.Y.), who testified before the committee about her own visit to holding facilities.

During the hearing, Ocasio-Cortez questioned Homan about a recommendation he gave to then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenWhite House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations Top House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary MORE, urging her to opt for the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy that mandated the prosecution of all adult migrants suspected of crossing the border illegally. The policy was credited with jump-starting the family separations under the Trump administration last year until the president ended it via executive order.

"So you provided the official recommendation to Secretary Nielsen for the United States to pursue family separation?" Ocasio-Cortez asked.

"I gave Secretary Nielsen numerous recommendations on how to secure the border and save lives," Homan shot back.

"[But] the recommendation, of the many that you recommended, you recommended family separation?" she asked again.

"I recommended zero tolerance," Homan said.

GOP rep, Dem chairman spar over 'just wrong' characterization of Republicans

In one exchange with the committee's chairman, Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsMaya Rockeymoore Cummings reports surgery was a success, will return to campaign trail The Hill's Morning Report — Public impeachment drama resumes today Maloney primary challenger calls on her to return, donate previous campaign donations from Trump MORE (D-Md.), Rep. Mark GreenMark GreenHonoring service before self To fight Mexican drug cartels, we must designate them Foreign Terrorist Organizations Bannon returns from exile to wage impeachment battle for Trump MORE (R-Tenn.) attacked "progressive liberals" for insinuating that Republicans and supporters of the president were in favor of maintaining poor conditions at border detention facilities.

"Let me begin by setting the record straight," Green said. "This notion that Republicans and conservatives are somehow unconcerned about the plight of people is just wrong and unfair."

"We didn't acknowledge it was a crisis when we probably should have," Green said, referring to congressional Democrats. "So let's just blame President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE. We'll say he's the one putting these kids in cages."

Cummings responded, advising members on both sides of the aisle to avoid personally attacking their colleagues.

"I think we all, on both side of the aisle, I think we need to be careful about how we talk about the motives of our colleagues. I believe that everyone is operating in good faith," the committee chairman said.