A Democratic hero was cruelly and shamefully shut down after playing a recording of crying children that was obtained by the transparency organization ProPublica. The recording was made inside a detention center at the southern border and was a harrowing insight into the conditions that have been caused by the GOP and their failure to provide an adequate solution to the current immigration crisis.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), who has become very well known for his public and vocal opposition to the Trump regime, confronted Congress using his allotted speaking time, saying:
“Imagine being ripped away from your mother or father and not knowing if you’re ever going to see them again, and then being placed in a detention facility with strangers. Imagine the horror you will see doing that. What must that sound like?”
Then Lieu reached in his jacket and hit play on a device he had smuggled into the chamber:
Republican Rep. Karen Handel from Georgia, who was presiding at the time over the House proceedings, claimed that the recording was “in breach of decorum.” Lieu responded angrily, asking “Why are you trying to prevent the American people from listening to what it sounds like in a detention facility?” Handel invoked Rule 17 which “prohibits the use of an electronic device to make sounds in the chamber.” The invoking of the rule was a callous attempt by the GOP to try and silence those who speak out against injustice.
Handel, however, could not recite the rule from memory as Rep. Lieu requested as his right before being silenced. She spent an extremely uncomfortable amount of time desperately searching for the exact text of Rule 17. By the time she was able to come up with it and threaten Lieu with action by the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House, Ted had already played the recording in almost its entirety.
The event is a humiliating display of how little the GOP actually cares about the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the southern border. Finally, after pressure from all sides, Trump signed an Executive Order to put a temporary halt to the horrific practice. But the episode is a dark moment in the history of the Republican Party, and one that Trump and his supporters are eager to sweep under the carpet.