One Man’s Protest Highlights Texas Internment Camp for Thousands of Detained Children

For over two months Joshua Rubin from New York has been camped near a Trump internment camp for detained migrant children, in protest and spreading awareness into what he can see as the day to day happenings of the camp. A documentary team has been on the ground in Tornillo, Texas reporting the story, through regular short video clip on the Facebook page at Carbon Trace Productions (CTP) HERE.

The first Video I saw was of Rubin trying to talk to the children on a soccer field while they were playing a game. The field was surrounded by exceedingly high fencing, akin to a prison yard, heavily guarded. Having watched the video, the most pervasive sense for me was one of deep pain and sadness as the optic of remote and desert and caged could not be mitigated by a mere soccer game.

Rubin’s commentary highlights the cruelty to these children, as well as the failed transparency and the bewildering secrecy of this Trump concentration camp.  After Rubin was able to make brief contact with a few boys at the fence, telling them they were not alone, a cruel new curtain was constructed to veil the caged boys who were robbed of the remaining sense of light, hope and freedom that the open desert must have previously conveyed.  Now the guards covered the entire football field of fencing with black trash bag plastic – (a metaphor- for reflection on the Trump mindset)-  so no one can seen in and the boys can no longer get any sense that there is world beyond that criminalizing fence.

I cannot fathom how post WWII – post Japanese internment – with all the lessons and promises of “never again”, – the Government, all members of Congress, the people of America – goes about another day with nothing drastic done to bring an end to this horror!!  Surely we as citizens should bring  this country to standstill until this ends?   It feels to me as if most of us are immune. We care but we are inept? Is that an answer?

With every day that goes by we have notched another where we are ignoring a crisis that imprisons innocent children for no good reason. Many have family and friends in the United States. They have people to go to. We know Donald Trump’s policy is punitive – because he has said so.  We know people are afraid to claim children as they have been put off by threats of deportation.

The local workers are paid handsomely to do their jobs in the internment facility. And they probably believe they are doing good. After all, they are looking after the kids, taking care of them.  Yet psychological and pediatric medical professionals who have weighed in on the issue all concur to the harm.

As a parent, I cannot fathom the loneliness, the abandonment, the fear, the uncertainty, the confusion.

Like Rubin says in one video ”Prison is not a good place even with ice cream.”

It is my hope that you will take a look at these videos and that you will share them widely. It is incumbent on each and every one of us to write our members of Congress to express our disdain and our expectation that this is treated as an emergency crisis needing imminent solution.   Please let me know if you do something – I plan to send this piece to my members of congress and to write weekly asking what they have done proactively that week about bringing this to an end. Please also support Josh Rubin’s crucial eye witness accounts.

Joshua Rubin: Facebook link HERE :  Joshua Rubin and his Witness: Tornillo project is inspiring. He’s a 67 year old software developer from Brooklyn who went to live in an RV in Texas to sit as witness to Trump’s child prison.You can find him on Twitter at @TornilloWitness and the fundraiser for him to continue is here

UPDATED: December 05, 7.30 PM PST:
Josh Rubin reports 2 more busloads of children arriving today. He now estimates the number to be at around 3,000. He also reports seeing an ambulance speed out of the facility.   Josh is asking for more people to join him on 12/23/18 – and provides information on his Facebook page.

Carbon Trace Productions:  We are working on a documentary short film about the separated children, and we are publishing videos along the way. You can find out more about Carbon Trace Productions at We are a Missouri-based education and humanitarian non-profit dedicated to teaching students to tell compelling stories without the pressure commercial concerns.

BY MELANIE NATHAN, mostly a mom.
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One thought on “One Man’s Protest Highlights Texas Internment Camp for Thousands of Detained Children

  1. Thank you for bringing attention to @Witness:Tornillo and Josh’s witness there. Please spread the word about #ChristmasinTornillo! Rally on Dec. 15, then Caroling and a week of Protest/Art/Music/Witnessing Dec. 23 – Jan. 1. Come any time to be a witness and help to shut this place down!

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