The Trump administration really doesn’t want the public knowing what’s going on in its child detention centers. Since members of Congress have put on a push to get into the facilities and get the word out about what’s going on, the Health and Human Services department has just imposed strict limits on their access. Even members of Congress will have to ask permission to tour a facility two weeks ahead of time, and once they get there, they can’t interact with the children at all:
“To protect the privacy and vulnerability of children in its care, we cannot allow visitors to record or photograph anything within the facility property, nor are visitors allowed to interact with the children,” reads the email from Sara Morse, the deputy assistant secretary for legislation at HHS. “We appreciate your cooperation.”
Oh, yeah, sure, it’s concern for the privacy and vulnerability of kids you have in cages that’s your reason for not wanting photographs. Uh-huh.
A few pre-scheduled tours will be available to members of Congress within the two-week waiting, presumably tours of facilities that have been cleaned up a little for public consumption. Which makes it all the more important to find out what’s going on in the detention centers that the Trump administration needs a two-week lead time on allowing anyone a look at.
I will personally hold a fundraiser for the Democrat who gets forcibly thrown out of a child detention center for attempting to ask a child if he or she is doing okay. Not just asked to leave, mind you. Someone who is told not to talk to the children, persists (in the child’s language), is asked to leave, refuses, and is escorted out, preferably while having the whole thing recorded. Because holy crap is this a naked effort to evade oversight and keep a lid on what the administration is doing to kids, and if at least one representative or senator cannot hold firm and refuse to be intimidated, we are in some trouble.