Object Lesson: Tom Keifer Creates Art From Migrant Possessions Tossed in the Border Patrol Trash

Margaret Regan, Tucson Weekly, January 14, 2021

When artist Tom Kiefer first started working as a part-time janitor at the Border Patrol station in Ajo back in 2003, he was shocked by the agency's practice of throwing out perfectly good canned foods they took away from captured migrants.

The boss, he says, told the agents they were not to waste time worrying about food.

"They were told that their job was to arrest people and bring them in." Period. "I thought it showed a callous disregard for people. I was disgusted."

Kiefer had moved to Ajo after 9/11 from L.A., where he had been working as a graphic designer and antiques dealer. He wanted to concentrate on his photography, and with Ajo's low cost of living, he was able to buy a house. And the job with Border Patrol was one of the best-paying gigs in town.



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