HOUSTON, Texas–The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is taking select Members of Congress on a secret tour of the temporary children’s shelter set up to house the children who entered the country illegally as part of the Texas border crisis. The tour will visit the temporary shelter set up at Naval Base Ventura County later this afternoon. The Congressional delegation will be given a 40-minute tour of the facility where they will witness the interior of the shelter and the care being provided for the unaccompanied minors while they are being housed in their facilities.
An email obtained by Breitbart Texas that was sent by HHS to Congressional staffers, contains an extensive lists of rules that instruct the Congressional leaders or their staff on what they will or will not be able to do on the tour. In an apparent effort to control the optics of the story, the Congressional members will not be allowed to take any recording device, including their cellphones. No questions will be allowed during the tour. The members will not be allowed to interact with either the staff or the children and no photographs will be allowed to be taken.
The email, attached below, explains that HHS will provide the delegation with photographs that HHS has taken and hand-picked after the tour is finished. They members of the tour will also be allowed to ask questions of a HHS designated representative after the tour is complete. The long list of rules are being established and enforced by HHS “to protect the safety and privacy of the children” and the email states compliance with the rules is “required.”
The email was sent from HHS to Congress on Wednesday after close of business (nearly 6 pm EDT). The tour will be held today (June 13) at 11 am and 1 pm (PDT).
Breitbart Texas contacted Rose Hacking, the author of the email, who serves in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Legislation at HHS. Ms. Hacking promptly returned Breitbart Texas’ call but said she was not allowed to speak with reporters on this matter. She referred Breitbart Texas’ email inquiry to the HHS media relations group who have yet to respond to the questions asked in the email inquiry. Hacking did confirm the email was sent out by her and that the tour will be conducted today. She would not comment on the tightly controlled rules or if any other tours were being scheduled for other locations around the country.
The facility at Naval Base Ventura County was discussed earlier this week in an article by Breitbart California’s Robert Wilde. The base is located adjacent to the city of Port Hueneme, California. City officials expressed they were not informed of the housing initiative until they read about it in the news. They were assured by HHS there would be no fiscal impact on the local community. It was not revealed if California’s Children’s Protective Services will have any ability or authority to monitor or oversee the warehousing of these unaccompanied minors while they are in California.
Breitbart Texas is also reaching out to Members of Congress to attempt to learn who may be attending.
Breitbart Texas has announced a Border Security and Public Corruption Tipline. If you have information that is in contrast to the information being released by DHS, you are encouraged to call or email Brandon Darby, Managing Director of Breitbart Texas. The number for you to call is 877-204-2033 or you can email Darby via bdarby@Breitbart.com.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.