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Published On: Fri, Jul 4th, 2014

Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine obstructed from visiting military facility by HHS

In a bizarre story from Oklahoma, the HHS may find itself in cross hairs on attacks after a local representative was prevented from visiting a military facility.

“There is no excuse for denying a Federal Representative from Oklahoma access to a federal facility in Oklahoma where unaccompanied children are being held.  Any Member of Congress should have the legal authority to visit a federal youth detention facility without waiting three weeks,” Jim Bridenstine stated in a July 2 press release (via B&R)

The Health and Human Services (HHS) official told Congressman Bridenstine he could schedule an appointment for July 21, but the HHS Deputy Director of the Office of Public Affairs, Ken Wolfe, would not take the Congressman’s phone call.

Bridenstine was told to send Wolfe an email as that was the preferred method of communication.  Congressman Bridenstine’s email to Mr. Wolfe in the press release.

“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.”

Ft. Sill is one of three facilities in the U.S. currently housing the unaccompanied alien children.

The Obama Administration policy is that after they are apprehended on the border by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, then the  children are transferred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for transport, and then placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) until released to a so-called “sponsor” in the U.S.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK-1) trying to gain access to HHS housing facility for Unaccompanied Alien Children at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.  July 1, 2014.  photo/http://bridenstine.house.gov/

Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK-1) trying to gain access to HHS housing facility for Unaccompanied Alien Children at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. July 1, 2014. photo/http://bridenstine.house.gov/

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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  1. Churches, pastors not allowed assist children in illegal refugee camps - The Global Dispatch says:

    […]   The pastor and some volunteers were prevented from visiting and helping those held at the Nogales Placement Center. They were reportedly delivering toys along with spiritual support and prayer.   “We just wanted to go down there and have a presence because we care about people,” he said in the article. “That’s all we wanted to do. For the church to be available sends a message that the church cares.”   According to Starnes, Baptist Child and Family Services of San Antonio, Texas were also denied access to the children.    “It was heartbreaking,” the anonymous counselor said. “The church needs to become involved. The spiritual needs of these children need to be tended to.”   Starnes concluded his column stating, “…I’m afraid under this administration, the government believes they are church and President Obama is the deity. Heaven help us all.”   Even one of the Oklahoma state politicians was turned away, denied access to a facility – more on that story HERE […]

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