Fronteras: 'Witness: Tornillo' | Texas Public Radio

Fronteras: 'Witness: Tornillo'

Dec 22, 2018

A temporary migrant facility opened in West Texas in June with the intention of housing up to 300 Central American teens. Six months later, the facility has grown to a capacity of over 2,700, and operations behind its tarped fences remain a mystery.

Joshua Rubin has been documenting what occurs in the Tornillo tent city for the past three months and joins us to discuss what he has seen.


Josh Rubin has been outside the Tornillo detention center in West Texas since October, documenting what he sees and advocating against the facility.
Credit Courtesy of Josh Rubin

Customs and Border Protection have been dominating headlines in recent weeks, fueling opinions on border issues from both Republicans and Democrats. Most recently, the death of 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin has called for investigations in the care and conditions provided to asylum-seeking migrants. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has rolled-back strict background checks for sponsor families and struck a deal with Mexican officials that may alleviate some U.S. detention centers from overcrowding.

BCFS, a San Antonio-based nonprofit, has a contract with the federal government to run the Tornillo tent city through Dec. 31.

Rubin, a software developer from New York who has been living in Tornillo since October, has been documenting what he sees day-in and day-out on the Facebook page: Witness: Tornillo.

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter @NormDog1 and Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter @terrazas_lauren.