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Texas Dem hands out lollipops to detained immigrant children

House Homeland Security Committee member Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, holds up photographs as she questions Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 24, 2014, during the committee's hearing regarding the growing problem of unaccompanied children crossing the border into the US. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said Thursday that she brought lollipops to immigrant children she was able to visit while in Texas this week.

"I always like to take things when I visit people who are detained for reasons that are not of a criminal nature, whether it is to visit with those in Darfur, or to be able to engage in Afghanistan, or to be able to talk to children wherever they are," she said at a House Judiciary Committee field hearing in Texas. "Homeless children."

House Homeland Security Committee member Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said Thursday that she handed out lollipops to immigrant children that have been detained near the border. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

"These are lollipops," she said as she held up a plastic bag. "I took lollipops along with my colleagues into those detention centers where children were. I wasn't armed, I wasn't fearful for my life."

Republicans have continued to argue that border crisis is a national security threat to the nation. But Jackson Lee rejected that, and said that while the U.S. needs to aggressively go after human traffickers, it needs to avoid treating detained children as criminals.

"This is not a national security crisis," she said. "This is a humanitarian crisis."

Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) used the hearing to say the quickest way to end the border crisis is to stop giving families in Central America the impression that they will be rewarded for trying to enter the country illegally.

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