The below op ed, published earlier this month by CNN , was written by Parker Deighan, the abuse documentation coordinator for No More Deaths and one of the #Cabeza9 defendants.
February 1, 2019 – In a little over a month, I will go on trial for driving a vehicle in the Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge, a vast wilderness area in Arizona that shares a border with Mexico. At the time of my offense, I was a volunteer for the humanitarian aid organization No More Deaths, searching for three migrants who were lost without water. I was responding to a call from a family member who contacted our Search and Rescue hotline, after being turned away from law enforcement. Though I was never able to reach those migrants, I have since learned that two were detained and one was never found.
Continue reading OP ED: “I’m being prosecuted for trying to save the lives of three migrants”
FOUR NO MORE DEATHS VOLUNTEERS FOUND GUILTY FOR PROVIDING LIFE- SAVING HUMANITARIAN AID ON “TRAIL OF DEATH” IN ARIZONA DESERT
Continue reading Guilty Verdict in first #Cabeza9 case
The application deadline for the 2019 Spring volunteer program has been extended to January 25. Click here to apply.
On Tuesday, January 15th at 8:30 AM, No More Deaths will hold a pre-trial press conference outside the Deconcini Federal Courthouse, 400 W Congress. We ask supporters to join us then and for the rest of week in the courtroom as the trial unfolds. Please tell us you are coming so we can be in touch if needs or updates arise.
DAILY TRIAL UPDATES
January 15th, 2019, TUCSON, AZ – Four No More Deaths volunteers facing federal misdemeanor charges begin trial today for their humanitarian aid work along the southwest border. The aid workers are being prosecuted for their efforts to place life-saving food and water on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, a vast and remote area south of Ajo, Arizona where 91 border crossers are known to have died since 2014 and countless more have gone missing.
“Members of our organization are being criminally prosecuted for placing water in areas where hundreds of people have died of thirst.” says Paige Corich-Kleim, a humanitarian aid volunteer with No More Deaths. “Anybody who has visited the refuge understands the harshness of the terrain and the need for a humanitarian response.”
The summer of 2017 was one of the deadliest on record in Arizona, resulting in a total of 32 known migrant deaths on the Refuge. No More Deaths volunteers maintained a consistent presence in the area, putting out humanitarian aid supplies and responding to search and rescue calls for missing migrants. That winter, nine volunteers, in places as disparate as New Orleans, Minneapolis and Seattle, received knocks on their door from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service. Charges include operating a motor vehicle in a wilderness area, abandonment of property, and entering a wildlife refuge without a permit. One of the defendants is Ajo resident Dr. Scott Warren, who is also charged with felony harboring and conspiracy related to humanitarian aid work. Dr. Warren’s felony trial is scheduled for May of this year.
The trial begins as the country goes into the fourth week of government shutdown, the longest in history. “The president is holding the country hostage over his demand for a border wall and claiming the humanitarian aid crisis as justification for his actions,” says Max Granger, another longtime volunteer with the group. “We believe a humanitarian crisis warrants a humanitarian response. A border wall will do nothing to alleviate the crisis of death and disappearance along the US-Mexico border. The protection of the right to give, and to receive, humanitarian aid is essential as long as the government maintains border policies that funnel migration into the most remote parts of the desert.”
Trials are expected to last through the week, with a verdict being issued sometime after trial ends. Dr. Warren’s misdemeanor trial is scheduled for February and the final round of Cabeza defendants will go to trial in March.
Dear friends of No More Deaths,
Because you have followed and supported No More Deaths, you already know the challenges that humanitarian-aid workers face in providing basic human needs like food and water to those who in desperation travel through our borderlands. We hear your voices, which encourage us to carry on because it is the right thing to do in spite of all our government does to discourage this work, including targeting our volunteers with a litany of criminal charges. Continue reading What is required to stand for human rights
Keep Tucson Together volunteers have assisted hundreds of Pima County residents to become citizens—four hundred in the last year alone. Others have kept their families together by attaining Lawful Permanent Residency. Our volunteers have assisted more than three thousand DACA applicants and provided legal-representation packets to hundreds of people around Arizona. The KTT project currently represents eighty people in Cancellation of Removal proceedings, sixty clients appealing their sentences, and another sixty people applying for asylum. Additionally, there are over 330 cases, once covered in the past, that are now at risk of being reopened. In Pima County the federal immigration courts are reopening cases closed under the Obama administration at the rate of fifteen per day. Continue reading Keep Tucson Together progress report
During the twelve-month period from October 2017 through September 2018, the Pima County Forensic Science Center—the morgue for most of southern Arizona—received the remains of 122 undocumented border crossers. Continue reading Migrant deaths and the right to provide humanitarian aid without fear of prosecution
Dear friends of No More Deaths,
US Army troops have been deployed to our southern border region to help stop the exodus of Central American asylum seekers from “invading” the United States! Soldiers have put up razor wire on walls in populated parts of the border, to “harden the points of entry.” Continue reading Is this the answer to a humanitarian crisis?