- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 3, 2014

Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine fired off an angry letter to the Department of Health and Human Services after he was denied entry to an illegal immigration facility in his own state.

Mr. Bridenstine also sent out a press release explaining his ire and describing how he was simply trying to check out the Fort Sill facility where 1,123 children who crossed into America illegally are being held — but was turned away and told to make an appointment for July 21, United Press International reported. He then said he tried to contact HHS and ask for explanation, but that Ken Wolfe with the Office of Public Affairs refused to take his call.

“There is no excuse for denying a federal representative from Oklahoma access to a federal facility in Oklahoma where unaccompanied children are being held,” he said in a press release, UPI reported. “Any member of Congress should have the legal authority to visit a federal youth detention facility without waiting three weeks.”

Mr. Bridenstine also wrote: “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,” UPI reported.

Mr. Bridenstine said he was shocked to learn he wouldn’t be allowed to visit children at the facility, UPI reported.

“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,” he wrote, UPI said. “I would like to know to whom these children are being released.”

President Obama has petitioned Congress to budget $2 billion for additional detention provisions for the illegal children.