(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) surprised the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee Friday when she asked to be sworn in before launching into an impassioned condemnation of conditions at the Southwest border.
Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), bemused by the request, obliged.
After she was sworn, Ocasio-Cortez recited some of the complaints including that women were told to drink out of a toilet.
But as the freshman congresswoman reached her emotional crescendo, someone in the hearing room passed out -- stopping her at a critical moment.
Here is part of her testimony, leading up to the faint:
"This is a manufactured crisis because the cruelty is manufactured," Ocasio-Cortez told the committee. She was speaking about her recent visit to an immigration detention facility near El Paso.
"This is a manufactured crisis because there is no need for us to do this. There is no need for us to crowd, to detain, and under-resource. There is no need for us to arrest innocent people and treat them no differently than criminals when they are pursuing their basic human rights," she said.
Ocasio-Cortez blamed the "policy of dehumanization" on Trump adviser Stephen Miller.
In the course of her testimony, Ocasio-Cortez held up a sheet of paper listing the names of the women she encountered in the El Paso-area detention facility.
And so when these women tell me that they were put into a cell and that their sink was not working -- and we tested the sink ourselves and the sink was not working -- and they were told to drink out of a toilet bowl, I believed them. I believe these women.
I believe the canker sores that I saw in their mouths because they were only allowed to be fed unnutritious food.
I believe them when they said they were sleeping on concrete floors for two months. I believe them.
And what was worse about this, Mr. Chairman, was the fact that there were American flags hanging all over these facilities.
That children were being separated from their parents in front of an American flag! That women were being called these names under an American flag!
(She choked up.)
“We cannot allow for this!" she said -- as her voice broke.
And at that very moment, someone in the hearing room fainted, and the emotional mometum was stalled, until Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) picked up where Ocasio-Cortez left off, bringing herself to full-on tears.