Michigan Rabbi helping immigrants in Tornillo


Immigrants and migrants are flocking to the borderland, with some escaping persecution and others simply looking for a better life.

One Michigan rabbi’s mission in El Paso to help the immigrants was suddenly released by the U.S. Department of Defense over the weekend.

“For us, this is an issue of compassion, of safety, of child welfare,” said Michigan Rabbi Josh Whinston.

Whinston is traveling more than a thousand miles to see this the border.

“We want to raise the profile of whats going on here,” he said. 

His mission: helping reunite families being held at the Tornillo tent city.

“A congregant called me telling me she was torn up about what was happening in Tornillo” Whinston said.

After that phone call, Whinston contacted everyone he knew from New York to Los Angeles, with many sharing his concern for the children being held in the tent city. 

“We are just concerned that there is not oversight, enough education in Tornillo,” he said.

Whinston made a quick trip to El Paso Tuesday night, but he and his congregation will come back in a couple weeks. When they return, they are planning to not only hold a rally outside the Tornillo facility, but also to work with non profits like the Annunciation House and the ACLU.

He’s already helped some immigrants, such as a man and his son who were suddenly let go from federal custody over the weekend.

Whinston is also helping asylum seekers cross the bridge safely.

“They shouldn’t be treated like this its immoral,” he said.

Along with the Hope Border Institute in El Paso and Faith in Action, Whinston is planning a rally on Nov. 15 outside the Tornillo tent city. 

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