Congressman Jim Bridenstine stopped by KTUL Saturday evening to weigh in on the conditions at Fort Sill following his recent tour of the facility.
He said his tour was "eye-opening" and that the tour confirmed concerns he had regarding how children are getting to the facility and the abuses they incur while being trafficking there.
Today, State Representative Mike Ritze said he believes the immigrants at Fort Sill should be quarantined to prevent contagious diseases from spreading to Oklahomans.
“More than 1,100 unaccompanied minors who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are currently being housed at Fort Sill,” said Ritze, R-Broken Arrow. “As a physician, the chairman of Public Safety A&B and a citizen of Oklahoma, I am concerned about the possibility of communicable diseases being carried by a population that does not have the same vaccination requirements as in the U.S.”
Bridenstine expressed concern for the children, some of whom undergo slave labor and prostitution through criminal organizations that are transporting them to the United States.
Bridenstine said he's heard accounts of individuals who sponsor children at Fort Sill with histories of trafficking children taking the children out of the facility for their own.
His biggest priority is securing the southern border of the U.S.
"Right now we are not doing anything to prevent these acts," Bridenstine said. "We need to secure the border. The law requires a 100% control over the southern border. The GAO (Government Accountability Office) said we only have 44% control over the southern border."
They key to stopping the illegal trafficking is stop the demand for criminal organizations to send children here, Bridenstine said.
"We need to stem demand for them to come to the United States by telling the criminal organizations the kids won't be allowed to stay if they come here. Our goal should be to solve the crisis. We won't solve the crisis by spending money on facilities and programs creating the crisis. We have to secure the border," he said.
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