Obama’s Humanitarian Blackout: Lawmakers Barred From Taking Photos Of Immigrant Children In Desperate Conditions
June 14, 2014
J. D. Heyes
In an outrageous display of arrogance, the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services, the same agency that so botched the rollout of the still-dysfunctional Healthcare.gov website, says it will allow elected members of Congress to tour a California facility housing some of the thousands of illegal alien children who have been pouring across the U.S. border in recent weeks, but only under certain conditions.
One of the rules is: you can’t take any pictures.
According to The Daily Caller, the temporary shelter in which HHS is offering to provide what can only be called a “sanitized” tour is located at the Ventura County Naval Base in Oxnard, Calif. Lawmakers and their senior staff are invited; the tour was scheduled to take place June 13.
But the invite comes with a ton of rules, including a “suggestion” that members leave their cell phones in their vehicles. As reported by The DC:
The tours are meant to give members and staffers an inside look at how temporary facilities are being used to house illegal immigrant children who came to the U.S. without their parents. The minors, who hail mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, are being called “Unaccompanied Children,” or UACs.
Burgeoning humanitarian disaster
The invitation was sent to members of Congress and staff by Rose Hacking, of the office of the assistant secretary of legislation at HHS. It came with this list of commands:
–No recording devices will be allowed (We may ask you to leave your cellphone in our vehicle)
–No questions will be allowed during the tour, but questions will be addressed later
–No interacting with staff and children at the shelter
–We will provide photos of the facility after the tour
During the commencement of the tour, “the tour guide will detail what goes on from room to room and the services youth are provided on a daily basis,” according to the email invitation.
The DC said that one congressional staffer invited to the tour has labeled it “a dog and pony show.”
And it is, at a minimum. Earlier, smuggled photos have shown kids stuffed into overcrowded facilities (See them here). Already there are reports of spreading sickness at some facilities, Britain’s Daily Mail reported.
“Don’t talk to anyone, don’t record anything you might happen to see, but come visit us and we’ll give you a sanitized story with only the photos and accounts we want you to have,” said the anonymous congressional staffer, who requested anonymity.
“This isn’t some totalitarian closed society trying this tactic, this is our own government. They clearly wouldn’t be offering up this kind of dog and pony show if they weren’t hiding a very ugly truth somewhere.”
Because of the tremendous crush of illegal immigrant children (and adults) pouring into the country – some say because of Obama’s unilateral decision in 2012 to order the Department of Homeland Security to stop deportation of them – in Texas and elsewhere, the UAC’s are being taken to other facilities, such as the holding center at Naval Base Ventura County. In addition, FEMA is coordinating the effort, with HHS handling the housing and care for the children through the Office of Refuge Resettlement.
But the June 13 tour is only being offered at the one naval base, according to the invitation.
The housing of the UACs has raised a number of questions, many of them humanitarian in nature. Some critics in Congress wonder how long the facilities will be used to house the migrant children, for example, but at present neither the president nor DHS has put a timeline out.
Others are concerned that the children themselves are in danger of falling into the hands of kidnappers, traffickers and other criminals. And the quality and conditions at the temporary facilities themselves are major concerns.
‘We’re in the midst of a manufactured crisis’
For example, as noted by The DC:
The Naval Base Ventura County currently has capacity for 230 UACs. Current occupation is at 91, leaving 139 open beds. But HHS has plans to increase the overall capacity to 575, according to a document obtained [earlier] by The DC.
Instead of being turned away at the border, UACs – under Obama’s immigration policy – are required to be placed in temporary shelters. From there, federal agencies begin deportation processing while at the same time looking for relatives or sponsors to house them in the U.S.
But the bottom line, as noted by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, whose state is currently inundated – as usual – by illegal migrants, is that this humanitarian crisis was fomented by, and is being enabled by, the president himself.
“Our country is in the midst of a crisis manufactured by President Obama and his administration’s refusal to enforce our nation’s immigration laws,” Brewer said in a tweet to members of Congress. “It has become clear that the administration has encouraged this massive influx and intends to continue ignoring the states’ calls to end this policy. Furthermore, it is indisputably evident that our border is not secure and is hardly ‘more secure than ever,'” a jab at former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, herself an ex-Arizona governor.
Brewer has also written directly to Obama in a bid to convince him to do more to enforce the nation’s immigration laws. That letter is here.
(Article photo courtesy of Breitbart Texas.)
Sources for this article include: