Tlaib gives emotional testimony at hearing on migrant detention conditions

Tlaib gives emotional testimony at hearing on migrant detention conditions
© Greg Nash

Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibThe Hill's Campaign Report: Stage set for second Democratic showdown Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump Trump complains of 'crazed' media coverage over 'send her back' chants MORE (D-Mich.) gave heartfelt and at times emotional testimony during a congressional hearing Friday about the visit she and other Democratic lawmakers paid to a border detention facility in Texas. 

"The suffering in these camps cannot be forgotten," Tlaib said during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on treatment of migrants at the southern border.

"Imagine traveling thousands of miles in grueling and dangerous conditions because you have no other option only to be separated from your family, from your children, thrown into overcrowded cages, denied a shower and toothbrush. And yes, Mr. Chairman, drink water out of the toilet if you're thirsty."

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Tlaib's voice broke several times during her testimony when recounting the deaths of children in U.S. custody, including a 7-year-old who died in December from a bacterial infection. 

"She was the same age as my son when I heard about it," Tlaib said. 

"I've been so deeply haunted by the unforgettable image of a 4-year-old boy coming up to me through a glass door of a cell he was in with a number of other children, asked me in Spanish where his papa was," she said. 

Republicans on the committee disputed the accounts of the Democrats' who visited the border.

"I’ve been to the border multiple times and it didn’t just come recently, putting on a show in front of fences for the media," said Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyThe Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash Democratic staffer says Wendy Davis will run for Congress Democrat grills DHS chief over viral image of drowned migrant and child MORE (R-Texas).