Trial of border humanitarian aid workers underway in Arizona
The trial of four volunteers of the migrant rights group No More Deaths is underway in Tucson, Arizona in federal court.
The volunteers maintain they are saving lives by leaving food and water for migrants crossing through one of the most desolate and deadly terrains along the Arizona-Mexico border.
Natalie Hoffman was accused of operating a motor vehicle in a wilderness area. Hoffman, Madeline Huse, Oona Holcomb and Zaachila Orozco McCormick are accused of entering a national wildlife refuge without a permit and abandoning property there. (They left 16 crates filled with water jugs and cans of beans next to the dirt-and-gravel road!)
All of the charges are misdemeanors. While the charges are relatively minor, the implications for humanitarian workers aiding migrants in the desert are enormous. No More Deaths volunteers charge that the Trump administration has ramped up efforts to stop humanitarian work in the desert.
The Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge is an unforgiving terrain that includes more than 50 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. Since 2001, law enforcement and medical officials report that more than 3,000 remains have been found in Southern Arizona.
[Arizona Public Media]
This entry was posted in Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation by Grant Montgomery.
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On January 18, the four women were found guilty by a federal judge for illegally entering a national wildlife refuge to leave food and water for illegal immigrants crossing the Arizona desert!
Prosecutors said Natalie Hoffman drove a vehicle inside the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Arizona on Aug. 13, 2017, leaving behind 1-gallon water jugs and cans of beans.
The women all face up to six months in prison for the misdemeanor convictions and a $500 fine. No sentencing date has yet been scheduled.