Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) opined on Thursday that the word "migrant" should not be used to describe persons apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border, because of the severity of the detention conditions.
"I cannot unfeel what I felt," Pressley tearfully told reporters.
She was speaking about her visit to migrant detention centers and the conditions she and other members of Congress had found and reported.
"I've been walking around with rounded shoulders and a bowed head because I am ashamed, because this in unjust and it is un-American and it is cruel," she continued.
"I would like for us to omit the word 'migrant.' These are simply families," she added.
"What I've also been grappling with and why I've been ashamed is because I left. I feel like I have some sort of survivor's guilt. And it felt guilty for every embrace I've still been able to have with my own daughter at home," Pressley continued.
"I've worried about and been haunted by the stories that have been shared, and that I've witnessed. Wondering if they're cold, too cold, too hot, if they're hungry, if they're still crying," she added.
"This is about so much more than funding," said Pressley, who voted against the bipartisan bill that would have sent funding relief to the border to ease the conditions at detention centers.
Pressley was one of the four freshman congresswomen who were chastised by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for not toeing the line with the Democratic leadership. She lashed out at White House aide Kellyanne Conway who mocked their "catfight" with the Democratic establishment.