TULSA - Fort Sill, where hundreds of illegal immigrant children are being housed temporarily by the federal government, has invited media to tour the facility on Thursday, but they won't be allowed to take any recording devices or camera, nor ask questions, nor speak to staff or the children.
Last week, Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine was denied access to Fort Sill, and when he found out about the "media tour" scheduled for this week, he wasn't happy - and called KRMG to make his position clear.
"We went down there, we got rejected. They didn't want a representative of the people to have access to an HHS facility. We've made a very big issue of this, as a lot of people have seen. We've gone to the media and we've been very public how a federal representative of the people cannot get access to a federally funded facility on federal property," Bridenstine told KRMG.
"And now, all of a sudden, HHS responds by saying 'hey, we're gonna have a media day.' And they send out a press release. They still haven't given me, the representative of the people, access to the facility. But now they're going to invite the media," he added.
- The media, according to Jesus Garcia with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of HHS, will have to take the tour under the following restrictions:
- No recording devices will be allowed
- No questions will be allowed during the tour
- No interacting with staff and children at the shelter
- We ask that your questions be provided via email or phone after the tour to Kenneth Wolfe
- HHS ACF public affairs will provide answers to your follow up questions as quickly as possible
- We will provide photos of the facility after the tour
- There will be no on-site interviews by HHS staff before or after the tour
KRMG will send a reporter to take the tour.
Bridenstine has indicated he also plans to be there Thursday.