Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) was denied access to the illegal-alien housing facility at Ft. Sill in Oklahoma yesterday. The facility is housing 1,200 illegal aliens who were relocated after being caught and processed by Border Patrol agents in Texas. The facility is currently under the control of Health and Human Services.
"There is no excuse for denying a Federal Representative from Oklahoma access to a federal facility in Oklahoma where unaccompanied children are being held," Rep. Bridenstine said in a statement. "Any Member of Congress should have the legal authority to visit a federal youth detention facility without waiting three weeks."
Rep. Bridenstine was told that he could schedule an appointment to visit the facility later this month. When he tried calling the agency's Deputy Director of the Office of Public Affairs, Ken Wolfe, Wolfe would not take his phone call. He was instead told that email is the preferred method of communication.
Here is the email Rep. Bridenstine sent to Ken Wolfe:
"After my visit today with the base commander, I approached the barracks where the children are housed. A new fence has been erected by HHS, completely surrounding the barracks and covered with material to totally obscure the view. Every gate is chained closed.
"I approached a security guard and asked to speak with the manager of the facility. The guard called his supervisor who said no visitors were allowed. I asked if they were aware that I am a Member of Congress. Eventually the manager came out and said that I would have to go through HHS legislative affairs and that the first chance to visit would be July 21st.
"What are they trying to hide? Do they not want the children to speak with Members of Congress? As a Navy pilot, I have been involved in operations countering illicit human trafficking. I would like to know to whom these children are being released."
Rep. Bridenstine is also an aviator for the U.S. Navy Reserves after serving 10 years in the U.S. Navy.
Updated: Wed, Jul 16th 2014 @ 11:35am EDT