In a forgotten article posted by The New Yorker writer Peter C. Baker told a story about Tom Kiefer, a Customs and Border Protection Janitor at the C.B.P. processing center in Ajo, Arizona, located less than 50 miles from the Mexico border. Each day Kiefer would discard large bags of the migrant’s belongings seized by Border Control. When migrants are apprehended, Customs and Border Protection agents dispose of “non essential” and “potentially lethal” items during intake. But before disposal Baker would rummage through the bags to collect packaged foods which he says he donated to a local pantry. And, he also took personal effects such as rosary beads, photographs and pocket Bibles. He took them home, sorted them into piles and photographed them. The images led to a solo show in Los Angeles titled “The American Dream”, which landed him a write up in the pontificating New Yorker magazine.
Yesterday the article brief, link and a photograph resurfaced on twitter. And one twitter user who saw the post and read it responded with a devastating comparison:
Remember the piles of wedding rings taken from holocaust victims and how we see it now and wonder how we ever let the violation of human rights get so far well yeah https://t.co/POKdmibgKk
— Literally Kirby 💕 (@clarissalule) June 18, 2018
The twitter post has since gone viral.