Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., is urging reporters and news crews to ignore media guidelines laid out by the Department of Health and Human Services in a recent invite to tour a holding facility for underage illegal immigrants in the Sooner State.
“No recording devices will be allowed. No questions will be allowed during the tour,” the HHS email invite reads, adding that there will be no "interacting with staff and children at the shelter.”
Bridenstine, who has been at the forefront of dealing with the recent surge of underage illegal immigrants that have crossed the border from Mexico, says members of the media should ignore these and other HHS guidelines.
“The idea of no recording devices, no questions, and no interactions is not acceptable. This violates the First Amendment," he said in a statement.
"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," he added.
The holding facility in Ft. Sill, Okla., is currently home to several “unaccompanied alien children,” as a House press release refers to them.
It’s also worth noting that the HHS media invite is for July 10. The House will be in session that day, which obviously means that lawmakers won’t be able to tour the Oklahoma holding facility.
Here’s a copy of the HHS email invitation: