A Springfield-based production crew was recently detained by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department after interacting with kids who have been separated from their families at the border.
Professor Andrew Cline of Missouri State University in Springfield and his Carbon Trace Production team traveled to Texas to document the conditions of kids being held at a camp.
“I’m appalled by what we’re doing to these families and I want to show that, I want to show that people are appalled,” he said.
Cline’s production team captured a man holding a sign saying “Free Them” during their visit to the Tornillo Camp. At the camp, his crew filmed a line of kids walking in the fenced in area.
“I want to point cameras at these kids inside this camp and see what their lives are like and I want to point cameras at those guards and see their faces. I think it’s important for people to see it’s an internment camp. I thought we saw the last of that on American soil in the early 1940s with the Japanese Americans,” said Cline.
After filming the kids, Cline’s crew was detained for an hour by law enforcement for talking to them until the sheriff determined the crew did nothing wrong.
“The guards came and put a stop to that immediately and in fact, before the day was over, the facility put out a black plastic sheet along the whole back of the fence to prevent us from shooting anymore video through the fence,” said Cline.
Cline isn’t the only one using film to try and spark a change. Back in June, he shot protesters participating in the Families Belong Together March as police looked on.
“We had a hard time finding anybody who was happy about these kids being separated from their families,” said Cline.
And Cline is concerned that the separation will continue because of what he’s captured on video at the Tornillo Camp.
“Construction material moves in constantly, temporary trailer housing moves in constantly, it is growing like crazy despite the government saying it’s supposed to close down by the end of the year. Not sure how that’s going to happen when you’re still building it,” said Cline.
Cline wants to finish his documentary by February with the hope of showing it at the non-profit Moxie Cinema in Springfield, which screens independent films.
(Missourinet media partner KOLR-TV contributed this report)