Trial Begins For Scott Warren, The Volunteer Arrested For Giving Undocumented People Water, Saving Lives
Last year, we were shocked to hear that a person had been arrested for leaving water and food for undocumented people walking the treacherous path to the U.S. Even more shocking was that border patrol agents were videotaped disposing of the much-needed water as if it were a game. The message they sent was clear: undocumented people do not deserve help and those that help them will get arrested.
Scott Warren, a 36-year-old volunteer with the organization No More Deaths, is currently on trial for helping undocumented immigrants. He faces 20 years in prison.
While Warren was arrested on January 17, 2018, in Ajo, Arizona, another group of volunteers with the same organization were arrested a year before. Their case left them with fines to pay and probation. None of the got prison time. For Warren, it may not be that black and white.
Warren’s case stands out among the others because agents say that he was “harboring” two undocumented immigrants by not only crossing the border but also transport them to safety.
Warren’s lawyer said that he was giving them water and asked a judge to dismiss the charges against them. The judge said no.
According to the Arizona Central, Warren faces “federal prison for allegedly conspiring to transport and allegedly harboring two undocumented immigrants near Ajo.”
As the case proceeds, CNN reports that Warren’s jury could have included people with connections to the border issues, including a wife of an agent, and an actual border patrol agent. None of them got picked to be on the jury.
Several supporters of Warren and of No More Deaths have rallied in front of the courthouse.
In an interview last week with Democracy Now! Warren spoke about what made him want to help undocumented immigrants by giving them food and water.
“I have lived in Ajo for about six years now,” he said. “The moment that really changed for me, got me involved in a big way, was moving here to Ajo and just experiencing the border in a more visceral way, being here in the summer, running into people in the desert who had walked across the desert and were in need of water, meeting other folks who were doing humanitarian aid. It just seemed like, if not the most important, one of the most important issues facing this place. For me to not be involved in that would be like not being fully engaged and fully present in this place.”
His case is supposed to conclude at least by June 7. Click here if you would like to help Warren’s case.