After being denied an impromptu tour of the Health and Human Services facility housing up to 1,200 unaccompanied minors at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) will be get a tour this Saturday.
Last week, security guards and HHS officials prevented the Oklahoma congressman from visiting the facility. HHS indicated that he would not be allowed to see the facility before July 21.
Bridenstine was outraged, telling Breitbart News, “I am a member of Congress, this is federal property, and they cannot prevent me from visiting.”
HHS offered a scheduled visit on July 12 according to Bridenstine’s office, an invitation he accepted. Bridenstine added that he also plans to make multiple, unannounced visits and speak with the children and officials inside.
“Any federal representative of the people must have unrestricted access to UAC facilities at any time. Denying such access undermines transparency and causes the people to lose confidence in their government,” he wrote in a letter to HHS over the weekend.
He highlighted that foster parents in Oklahoma are also subject to unannounced visits by the state’s Department of Human Services, writing “the tragedy that is occurring requires unfettered access.”
“The President has created this tragedy by failing to enforce border security. He is going to ask Congress for $2 billion tax payer dollars, not for border security but rather to expedite the process of illegal immigration,” Bridenstine said in a statement. “”Human suffering is escalating because of the failure to enforce the law. The solution is to enforce the laws and stop illegal immigration.”
Since October more than 52,000 unaccompanied illegal immigrant children have been detained crossing the border, many of these children end up in HHS care until they are reunited with a family member or sponsor in the United States.