Bridenstine Tours Immigrant Children's Shelter At Fort Sill

Jul 13, 2014

U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)
Credit Congressman Jim Bridenstine / Facebook

As hundreds of immigrant children stay at a temporary shelter at the Fort Sill Army Post near Lawton, some Oklahoma leaders says they are concerned a broad agreement on the nation's immigration policy won't be reached this year.

Oklahoma's Fort Sill has become a temporary home for unaccompanied Central American children flowing into the country. The immediate crisis is prompting President Barack Obama to push for $3.7 billion in emergency funding, a request that has gotten a cool reception from Oklahoma's all-Republican delegation.

Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cole says he doesn't see the current situation serving as an impetus for broader immigration reform and is joining a growing GOP call for faster deportation.

Representative Jim Bridenstine toured the Fort Sill temporary shelter on Saturday with Representative Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee.

Bridenstine said in a statement he was pleased with the care provided to the children but the influx of undocumented children was a result of President Obama’s immigration policies.

Representative Blackburn suggested the U.S. should cut aid to the Central American countries that are home to thousands of children who have crossed the border illegally to pay for the cost of caring for them.

Blackburn says she opposes President Barack Obama's call for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to strengthen the border. She says Congress has already appropriated money for border control.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe toured the facility on June 27.

Federal officials say 57,000 unaccompanied minors have arrived since October. Most are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.