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Local Representatives Sound Off on Immigration Crisis; Fort Sill Tour

The President is asking congress for close to four billion dollars in emergency funds for the flood of young illegal immigrants.
The President is asking congress for close to four billion dollars in emergency funds for the flood of young illegal immigrants.

The President says the money would be used to shore up border security, go after smugglers, speed-up the processing of the immigrants and improve care for children in federal facilities such as Fort Sill.

And at Fort Sill, the Health and Human Services Administration will be giving media tours Thursday of one of the shelters that is holding over one thousand immigrant children.

Media, including KFDX have been invited to inspect where these children are being held and learn more about the care they receive. But we can not record anything, ask children or officials any questions during the tour or get any interviews with Health and Human Services staff while on site.

We spoke with 13th District Representative Mac Thornberry who says he understands the need to protect the children, but he says the rules and restrictions go too far.

“I think it's disturbing because it looks like they're trying to hide something,” says Thornberry.

Congressman Thornberry says it's important that the media and congress have access to accurate information to show the true picture of what he calls a humanitarian crisis from a tide of children crossing the border.

“The key is, we've got to do a better job of securing the border and we've got to discourage these children and families from coming here. It's not in their interest. It's not in our interest,” says Thornberry.

Congressman Thornberry says transparency and information is crucial to find a solution, and strict rules during a Fort Sill tour of the facility where these kids are staying makes that harder to obtain. And he says knowing the facts is especially important since the President is asking for nearly 4 billion dollars in aid to help with the immigration crisis.

“It's an enormous amount of money. Obviously this is a very large crisis but I am certain congress is not gonna rubber stamp their request for more money,” says Thornberry.

Congressman Thornberry says he believes congress will go through the spending request very carefully to make sure, if approved, the money will be spent the right way.

An Oklahoma representative also has been speaking out against restrictions imposed by the HHS.

1st District Congressman Jim Bridenstine, who asked to inspect the facility himself but was denied, says the rule against recording devices, questions or interactions is not acceptable.

He goes on to say, "This violates the 1st Amendment. This is not transparent. HHS is trying to muzzle the media and hide the human tragedy that has resulted directly from the administration's failure to enforce the law."
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