“First…No one is illegal. That term is derogatory, because it dehumanizes people,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib during her testimony at the hearing on ‘The Trump Administration’s Child Separation Policy’ by the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

For years before President Trump took office, Republicans have called the situation at the U.S. Mexico border a crisis, now, Democrats are changing their tune at a time of political convenience. This was apparent Friday during The House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s hearing on “The Trump Administration’s Child Separation Policy: Substantiated Allegations of Mistreatment.”

Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings called it “inhumane” opening the hearing with a political plea that “The Trump Administration adopted this child separation policy intentionally, purposefully-as a tactic to deter people from coming to the United States and seeking asylum. We know this because they said so,” Cummings said in his opening statement where he claimed that Republicans simply don’t have compassion for families separated at the border.

Republicans immediately jumped on such assertions. One of them was Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan, who said Republicans have been, for years, calling it a crisis while Democrats have denied any such claim. Jordan said, “For months, they declared there wasn’t even a crisis on the border. Senator Warren said ‘a fake crisis at the border is fear mongering of the worst kind and we’re not falling for it.'” He argued that, for Republicans, it’s “not about politics, it’s always been about preserving the integrity of our border…”

Lawmakers representing border states provided witness testimony before the committee. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) who’s led two official bipartisan Congressional Delegations to the border and represents a border state said one of his greatest concerns is with human trafficking at the border. Border patrol agents briefed Biggs on his most recent trip about an 11-year-old female who was smuggled into a human trafficking ring led by Mexican cartel affiliates. The young girl was abused by cartel members, who placed her in fake family units as she became a recycled prop used to smuggle illegal migrants into the U.S.

The panel didn’t back down from the uncomfortable reality they’ve seen with their own eyes during visits to the border. Rep. Chip Roy highlighted a serious drug crisis in America manufactured by the Mexican drug cartels. “Drug cartels are abusing migrant children, not CBP or the administration. Congress is allowing it to happen by our continued refusal to address the crisis.” Doubling down on his colleague’s rhetoric, Roy underscored Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for continuing to perpetuate a false narrative about law enforcement just trying to protect the border.

The second portion of the hearing will feature a panel of experts and career-law enforcement officials. Click here to watch.