Good News from the Border ‘War’…

… The GOP’s war on suffering humanity, not to mention the explicit instructions of that Jesus guy to whom they’re always proclaiming their allegiance. Warren shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place, but at least 8 out of 12 jurors stood up for decency. Per the Washington Post:

When Scott Daniel Warren was arrested last year after allegedly providing food, water, beds and clean clothes to undocumented immigrants near Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, the question was whether he had broken the law or upheld it.

“No Más Muertes,” an advocacy group that wants “no more deaths” of people crossing the desert regions linking Mexico and the southwestern United States, sees Warren — one of its most visible members — as an apostle of humanitarianism. His advocates say the geographer, who has taught courses at Arizona State University, was heeding both religious rules and international covenants that require sanctuary for the persecuted and the dispossessed.

The government, however, sees Warren, 36, as a felon. Arrested by Border Patrol agents in January 2018 at a property offering aid for immigrants in Ajo, Ariz., he was accused of helping border-crossers evade authorities, which is prohibited under federal law.

The activist faced up to 20 years in prison on charges of harboring and conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants…

The judge, Raner C. Collins, dismissed them and scheduled a status hearing in the case for July 2. The U.S. attorney’s office in Arizona did not immediately indicate whether it would seek another trial.

Addressing reporters outside the courthouse, Warren called on Americans to link arms with immigrants, a stance that activists claim is being criminalized as part of the Trump administration’s hard-line approach to border control. The geography instructor is one of numerous members of the “No More Deaths” group who have run afoul of law enforcement for trying to assist migrants. He is the first, however, to be slapped with felony charges…

In addition to leaving water, food, socks, blankets and other supplies in the remote corners of Arizona’s deserts, No More Deaths also seeks to “document the abuse, neglect, and mistreatment endured by detainees in short-term Border Patrol custody as well as in the immigration-detention system.” Six migrant children have died since December after being taken into custody by federal authorities…

[Warren’s defense attorney] Kuykendall also failed to convince the court that prosecution would endanger his client’s religious freedom — his adherence to Christian principles compelling him to “provide emergency aid to fellow human beings in need.”

The government answered that its actions had neither discriminatory intent nor impact. Instead, U.S. attorneys maintained that the sting was aimed simply at enforcing criminal law.

Enforcement of the harboring statute was stepped up in 2017 at the direction of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who ordered federal prosecutors to prioritize “any case involving the unlawful transportation or harboring of aliens.”…

“Religous freedom” to deny services, but not to provide them. To quote Adam Serwer: The cruelty is the point.

Jay Willis, in GQ:

Warren’s arrest took place hours after No More More Deaths uploaded a video depicting Border Patrol Agents emptying jugs of water the group placed in the desert. According to the New York Times, Warren is the only No More Deaths volunteer to face felony charges, but authorities have charged at least eight others with misdemeanors this year. This week’s result is a reprieve, not an exoneration; because the jury deadlocked, prosecutors are free to try him again for the same alleged crimes. The presiding judge has scheduled a status conference for July 2.

To a certain extent, every legal system seeks to de-incentivize behaviors which the powers that be deem socially undesirable. But No More Deaths has been working in the borderlands since 2004; at this juncture, weaponizing the criminal justice system against those who give water to immigrants is an extreme and unabashedly political choice. Last week, experts at the United Nations Human Rights Council publicly urged authorities to drop the charges. “The vital and legitimate humanitarian work of Scott Warren and No More Deaths upholds the right to life and prevents the deaths of migrants and asylum seekers,” they wrote. “Providing humanitarian aid is not a crime.”

Warren thanked his well-wishers after the jury’s dismissal, but called attention to the human consequences of the prosecution he fought. “In the time since I was arrested in January 2018, no fewer than 88 bodies were recovered from the Arizona desert,” he said in front of the courthouse. Those lives could have been saved. But this government won’t do it, and it doesn’t want anyone else to try.

73 replies
  1. 1
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    It is good to see that the majority was for acquittal.

    This morning’s Concentration Camp thread got me to do a few things. Send some cash. Call my Congress people. When I called Ron Johnson, I asked what he was doing about the asylum seekers on the southern border. I tried to leave my language as neutral as possible to see what kind of answer I would get. The staffer started to say that Johnson was working with some other fascists to put a law in place that would have the authorities determine whether someone was a refugee seeking safety or a migrant who was simply looking to come here for economic benefits. It was at this point that I lost it. I interrupted and told him that law already requires that anyone seeking asylum be give a hearing to determine if they fit the definition of a real refugee. The guy then tried to backtrack and rephrase, etc. The problem is that, while it may be over 24 years since I wrote it, my law review article was about the disparate treatment of Cuban and Haitian refugees and the legality of the interdiction at sea policy under Bush I and Clinton (spoiler: I went with illegal). Some of this knowledge is still bouncing around my brain. After a bit more discourse, I finished up by telling him that his boss was going to appear in future history text books the same way the people at the Wannsee Conference do.

  2. 2
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    This country. My god. This country. When I taught Holocaust studies all those years, I would ask my students if they thought such a thing could ever happen here. I was as naive as them.

  3. 3
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: jury nullification!

  4. 4
    opiejeanne says:

    I’m glad he was not convicted.

    I am ashamed of my country for the actions taken against immigrants. Fort Sill was used as a detention center for Japanese Americans during WWII and it is now being used as a concentration camp for immigrants.

    I am so ashamed right now that I can’t can’t imagine traveling to another country for vacation at this time.

  5. 5
    opiejeanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: We had a post about the concentration camp(s)? I missed it while trying to distract myself from other horrors visited upon us by the Republicans.

  6. 6
    Jinchi says:

    Thanks to 8 clear-eyed jurors. Trump, Sessions and their entire crew are actively trying to get people killed as a disincentive to crossing the border. Trying to send people to jail for saving lives is obscene. These guys are just pure evil.

  7. 7
    Sab says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Prosecute those jurors for lying in voir dire?

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @opiejeanne: I spent July through November of 1988 at Fort Sill. If they have people there without A/C, they will die. Yes, sufficient water would prevent that, but I doubt that these fuck could provide sufficient water even if they wanted to. There is a reason Oklahoma was the last place we stole from the Native Americans.

  9. 9
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    So did the jury have to be unanimous? Is that why it deadlocked?

  10. 10
    debbie says:

    At this point, I don’t see why everyone just doesn’t state they are a citizen on the census. Fuck them all.

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Yes, that is what a deadlocked jury is.

  12. 12
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: jury must be unanimous to convict. Defense needs to convince only one juror.

    @Sab: would not surprise me if some RWNJ DA tried that.

  13. 13
    AliceBlue says:

    @opiejeanne: The last group of Apache warriors was also held at Ft. Sill from 1886-1914. I believe Geronimo is buried there.

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @AliceBlue: He is.

  15. 15
    debbie says:


    Even worse, they will be using Ft. Sill for immigrant children. 😡

  16. 16
    Redshift says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Yes, a mistrial is when the jury cannot agree on a unanimous verdict.

  17. 17
    opiejeanne says:

    @Jinchi: The statement by the prosecuting attorney really upset me. I wanted to ask him if he heard the words coming out of his mouth. I can’t find the exact quote right now but he said something like this: He left water and food for them, he left clothing for them, he gave them shelter. What he did was morally wrong.”

    These words echo in the background of that remark: “When I was hungry you fed me, when I was naked you clothed me…”

  18. 18
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @opiejeanne: republican Jesus!

  19. 19
    NotMax says:

    Minor coding fix.

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
    Suggest watching 12 Angry Men. Riveting film based on a great play.

  20. 20
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    republican Jesus!

    Bah! Jesus was a candy assed girly man. Don’t pay him no nevermind.

  21. 21
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Betcha a sawbuck said staffer had never heard of Wannsee.

  22. 22
    opiejeanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh God. We are having nasty weather in the PNW. Portland, OR was 96 today, and just east of Seattle was 87 and so humid it was oppressive. At 105 in a dry climate it’s enervating (I have walked a mile into town and another mile back in that temperature, didn’t realize it was so hot until I saw a bank temperature sign downtown. There was a little breeze which is why I think I didn’t notice how hot it was.

    110 is deadly no matter how dry the climate. When I’ve been in places that hot or hotter (Yuma, Las Vegas. etc. ) I couldn’t last outside for more than half an hour even in the shade with a breeze.

  23. 23
    opiejeanne says:

    @debbie: I know. That is part of the shamefulness. Is that a word? I don’t care.

  24. 24
    opiejeanne says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I wouldn’t take that bet.

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Good point.

  26. 26
    opiejeanne says:

    @Steve in the ATL: The one who never divided the loaves and fishes nor gave the Sermon on the Mount.

  27. 27
    Sab says:

    @Redshift: Louisiana and Oregon allow non-unanimous verdicts. But this AZ verdict had a big majority going against conviction, not just a lone holdout.

    ETA I thini I was resp9nd8ng to Goku not you.

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @debbie: Even worse, they aren’t standard immigrants. They are here seeking asylum. They left someplace dangerous and dragged their asses to our border in search of help and safety. I guess they learned their lesson.

  29. 29
    Raoul says:

    Really, really shitty of those four to hold out and force the mistrial. MAGA choads, I assume.

  30. 30
    NotMax says:


    That was all FAKE NEWS!


  31. 31
    frosty says:


    just east of Seattle was 87 and so humid it was oppressive

    Welcome to Baltimore in August!!

    But I completely agree with you about the heat. You can’t say “But it’s a dry heat” when it’s 105 and up. It’s still fecking hot.

  32. 32
    debbie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Some shining beacon on the hill.


    “What he did was morally wrong.”

    I cannot get past this. I hope the defense attorney jumped all over that statement. I’m thinking about marking “Other” as my ethnicity on the census. Maybe if enough people did that, it would screw up Trump’s plans.

  33. 33
    opiejeanne says:

    @frosty: I have been to Baltimore in July, and this was just like that. We went to the aquarium and the AC couldn’t keep up with the people inside against that heat, and then we made the mistake of going into the rainforest section and got trapped. Missouri in August got nothing on that experience.

  34. 34
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @frosty: I’ll never forget the ranger in Death Valley in July who told us “once it gets above 120 you can really feel it.” I felt it pretty good at 117, thanks.

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @debbie: FWIW, when Winthrop used the phrase, it was an aspirational statement and a warning. ‘We must always consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill—the eyes of all people are upon us So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world.” And then, Reagan grabbed onto part of it, twisted the hell out it, and turned it into jingoism.

  36. 36
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Steve in the ATL: @NotMax: @Redshift:

    Thanks. Huh, I only thought juries had to be unanimous in murder trials.

  37. 37
    Cacti says:

    The US Attorney’s Office for Arizona can go straight hell for this debacle.

    Kudos to the 8 principled jurors who gave Donald Trump and Bill Barr the finger for this bullshit.

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    In addition to leaving water, food, socks, blankets and other supplies in the remote corners of Arizona’s deserts, No More Deaths also seeks to “document the abuse, neglect, and mistreatment endured by detainees in short-term Border Patrol custody as well as in the immigration-detention system.

    I think I see the problem here.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @opiejeanne: OT: you got my email response?

  40. 40
    Cacti says:


    It was 92 today down in Pierce County.

  41. 41
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
    Wasn’t all that long ago a jury in Manafort’s case was deadlocked on 10 of the 18 counts.

  42. 42
    GregB says:

    Stephen Miller is a fucking monster. Trump too, plus a moron. Fuck ‘em.

  43. 43
    Suzanne says:

    Yeah so fuck the Border Patrol. Purposely spilling water. They are no better than criminals. Fucking monsters.

  44. 44
    Cacti says:


    Really, really shitty of those four to hold out and force the mistrial. MAGA choads, I assume.

    Most likely, but I view it differently having spent 8 interminable years in Arizona.

    Even in deeply bigoted Arizona, with the prosecution using all the resources available to a US Attorney’s office, 2/3 of the jury told them to fuck off.

  45. 45
    debbie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Leave it to Reagan, the bastard.

  46. 46
    Suzanne says:

    Oh, and for reference, it was 110 in my fair city today.

  47. 47
    Sab says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I used to live in Las Vegas. I HATE airconditioning. My car had no airconditioner. I used a plant mister. I grew up in Florida before airconditioning was widespread. But anything above 110 is really hot even with low humidity. Construction guys say we are adapted to about 120 with adequate water but our dogs sure aren’t.

  48. 48
    James E Powell says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I finished up by telling him that his boss was going to appear in future history text books the same way the people at the Wannsee Conference do.

    Do you think he knew what that was? Did you give him a hint?

  49. 49
    opiejeanne says:

    @Adam L Silverman: yes, thank you Adam. I meant to email you back but was busy and forgot. Sorry about that.

  50. 50
    Raoul says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Add in that many of the longer term facilities are for-profit, and asking questions in a kleptocracy gets real dicey.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @James E Powell: Actually, I doubt he knew. And I hung up right after that because 1. it seemed like a good place to stop, and 2. I was running out of sentences that did not include some variation on the word fuck.

  52. 52
    opiejeanne says:

    @Cacti: There was no breeze here, but over in Bothell it was 4 degrees cooler and they had a breeze. Bastards.

  53. 53
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Raoul: Yep.

  54. 54
    Cathie from Canada says:

    In Canada in the 1970s and 80s, Dr. Henry Morgentaler opened abortion clinics across Canada and was charged again and again and no jury would ever convict him. Finally one of the cases got to the supreme court, which said Canada’s abortion law was unconstitutional. We haven’t had a federal abortion law since then. And basically, Canada can thank the good sense of dozens of ordinary people on juries, who would not vote against the women who needed help.

  55. 55
    opiejeanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: He didn’t know but I’ll bet he got the idea that that is not a good thing to be remembered for.

    He may have even Googled Wannsee. .

  56. 56
    Raoul says:

    @Cacti: My gripe may not have been terribly realistic. I visited Joe Arpaio’s tent city back in 2012 (in a bus caravan organized for hundreds of Unitarian Universalists. At night. When it was still probably 99.) My g-d, what a county to have (re)elected that evil man so many times.

    F–k Trump for that damned pardon, too.

  57. 57
    smike says:

    Great typos… or code, I’m n9t sure.

  58. 58
    Suzanne says:

    @Raoul: A friend of SuzMom sued the MCSO because they would not allow her to take her prescription medication while she was in Tent City. I should note that she brought her medication herself so the County didn’t have to pay for it, and she turned it in per the instructions she was given. They just wanted to fuck with her and make her sick.

    Joe Arpaio is beyond description.

  59. 59
    Sab says:

    @smike: Typos. I am on a Nook and the letters to edit a comment are tiny. My fingers are small but still adult sized.

    Yes I should proofread, but the edit clock is ticking relentlessly.

    Also I screw up. Ask my spouse. I do it daily.

  60. 60
    smike says:

    The typos had a great flow. Glad you didn’t get rid of them.

  61. 61
    opiejeanne says:

    @Sab: There’s a way on nook to make the letters bigger, or at least there used to be on the older models.

  62. 62
    Michael J Allen says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: If what they are saying is actually true, they are using rooms occupied by military as recently as this April. If they are actually all like the photo they are modern and no doubt have AC.

  63. 63
    Sab says:

    @smike: Could you tel what I meant to type?

    Steep. told me how to disengage autocorrect. Nowadays it’s easy to guess which key I meant to type, since it’s probably nearby.

    Autocorect rewrites whole sentences. I couldn’t remember what I had meant to type. That was weird, and wrong.@opiejeanne:

  64. 64
    smike says:

    Yes, I could easily tell. Instead of a “k”, you hit an “i” (one above). Instead of an “o”, you hit a “9” (one above), etc.

  65. 65
    Mike G says:

    8 for not guilty, 4 for guilty

    Which rounds off roughly to the 27% crazification factor.

  66. 66
    Kent says:

    I’m suprised these activists don’t mount a defense based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That is the act that basically allows Hobby Lobby to defy Federal law to deny women their legally-entitled birth control.

    The scriptural basis for helping strangers in the desert is about 1000x more established and compelling than any denial of birth control. For example:

    Leviticus 19:33-34 “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

    Matthew 25:44 “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’

    IAMAL but seems like a pretty compelling argument to me.

  67. 67
    Victor Matheson says:

    Last weekend I spent 3 nights in a village in rural south India. 104 during the day. 90 in my room at night with no air movement. No electricity two nights so no fans on those nights. Brutal. If they are putting detainees through anything like that they are monsters. But I guess we knew that already.

  68. 68
    john fremont says:

    @Jinchi: I hope they end up at the Hague in Slobodan Milosevic old cell.

  69. 69
    BRobin says:

    @Mike G: Exactly

  70. 70
    low-tech cyclist says:


    The scriptural basis for helping strangers in the desert is about 1000x more established and compelling than any denial of birth control. For example::

    Damn straight. And those really are just examples – this is all over the freakin’ Bible.

    All those evangelicals who claim to believe in Biblical inerrancy but aren’t bothered by this – my kindest conclusion about them is that we’ve proved that nobody really believes in Biblical inerrancy. I figure my less kind conclusions about them are so obvious that they don’t need mentioning.

  71. 71
    debbie says:

    @Michael J Allen:

    If they are actually all like the photo they are modern and no doubt have AC.

    Doesn’t mean they have to use it. More likely, based on their treatment of immigrants in general, that they won’t.

  72. 72
    TenguPhule says:

    @Michael J Allen:

    If what they are saying is actually true,

    I think we’ve all learned our lesson here by now.

  73. 73
    TenguPhule says:

    @debbie: Or even worse, in and out of the A/C and heat. i remember Fort Knox, the A/C was sub-arctic while outside it was fucking hot and humid.

    First experience with fluid in the lungs. Unforgettable memory that.

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