Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) took to the floor of the House of Representatives on Friday to draw attention to the plight of migrants caught crossing the United State’s southern border.
“If the Statue of Liberty could cry, she would be crying today,” Lieu said, standing next to a photo of a migrant detention facility. “As I stand here, there are 2,300 babies and kids who were ripped away from their parents by our government and are in detention facilities across America.”
Lieu’s speech lead to a brief confrontation with the chamber’s presiding officer, Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.), when Handel questioned the decorum of the California Congressman’s use of an electronic device to play audio of detained migrant children.
“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,” Lieu said before playing the audio. “What must that sound like?”
Watch the video below, via C-SPAN:
“The sergeant of arms will enforce the rules of decorum.” pic.twitter.com/kFP8L5ysKk
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 22, 2018
As Handel cited Rule 17 of the House of Representatives and banged the gavel to attempt to force Lieu to suspend his use of an audio device, the congressman objected. “Why are you trying to prevent the American people from listening to what it sounds like at a detention facility?” he said.
“The gentleman will suspend, per Rule 17 of the House, that prohibits the use of a device to make sounds in the chamber,” Handel said.
Lieu took to Twitter after leaving the floor to contest the objection to his actions. “F**k decorum,” he tweeted.
2300 kids were ripped away from parents with no real plan to reunite them. I can’t play the @ProPublica audio of their cries for help because of “decorum”? F*ck decorum. @realDonaldTrump engaged in the functional equivalent of kidnapping. The American people need to hear this. https://t.co/x47nAebmDZ
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 22, 2018
“The American people need to hear this,” he wrote.