WASHINGTON — Sen. Tom Coburn told an Obama administration official Wednesday that it was illegal to bar U.S. Rep. James Bridenstine from the Fort Sill facility housing some of the unaccompanied minors who recently crossed the southern border into the United States.
“I will just tell you I think you made a grievous error in denying Congressman Bridenstine access to that facility,” Coburn, R-Muskogee, told Mark Greenberg, an acting assistant secretary with the Department of Health and Human Services, at a Senate hearing.
“And I don’t know who made the decision. But first of all, I think it was illegal to keep a member of Congress from visiting one of these camps. Regardless if they come at 3 o’clock in the morning, they should have access.”
Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, was turned away last week from the Fort Sill facility, which is currently caring for more than 1,000 minors called “unaccompanied alien children” by the U.S. government. The Health and Human Services Department is in charge of the facility at Fort Sill, a U.S. Army post in Lawton.
More on the immigrants being housed at Fort Sill:
The department has scheduled a media tour at the Fort Sill facility for Thursday, but participants can’t bring in recording devices, ask questions or interact with the children or staff. Bridenstine has a tour scheduled for Saturday.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, and Gov. Mary Fallin have toured the facility.
Coburn and Greenberg had a brief exchange about how tightly the administration is controlling access to the facilities holding the minors, most of whom came from Central America. Fort Sill is one of three military bases that opened temporary housing last month.Bridenstine demands "unfettered access" to Fort Sill... U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine says he was denied access to...
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