Things That Matter

After A Humanitarian Group Released Video Of Border Patrol Destroying Water Left For Migrants, A Volunteer Was Arrested

On Jan. 17, a humanitarian organization released a video that showed Border Patrol agents destroying food and water left for migrants who were trying to cross into the United States.

No More Deaths is an organization that helps migrants survive as they walk through Ajo, Arizona, a border town with a dangerously rugged terrain. The migrants from Mexico cross this town in hopes of entering the U.S.

The humanitarian group has been around since 2004 and their efforts of supplying migrants with food, water, clothing, shelter, and medical care is largely based on faith-based principals, according to their mission statement.

According to NBC News, the advocacy group says that out of 128 human remains that were found near the border in 2017, 58 of them were discovered in Ajo.

It seems border agents may have been watching members of the group leave behind supplies for migrants. At least that’s what No More Deaths believes.

Just hours after the video was released, one of their volunteers, an Arizona teacher, was arrested for giving migrants food and water.

Scott Daniel Warren, a volunteer with No More Deaths for many years and a faculty associate at Arizona State University, was arrested eight hours after the group did a press conference regarding Border Patrol agents  and the destruction of supplies. He was charged with harboring undocumented immigrants. He has since been released from custody.

The Arizona Republic reports the video surveillance showed Warren walking towards a building referred to as “The Barn” where two migrants eventually showed up. No More Deaths volunteers typically leave supplies here for migrants. The migrants caught in the video eventually turned themselves in to agents.

“Scott has been instrumental in helping organize humanitarian aid in that region,” Jeff Reinhardt, a volunteer with No More Deaths, told NBC News.

His lawyer says the arrest was made in retaliation for releasing the video of the agents, which quickly went viral.

Warren’s attorney, Bill Walker, said the timing of the arrest was very suspicious and added that the organization isn’t doing anything illegal.

We don’t smuggle them, we don’t do anything to help them enter the United States, we do nothing illegal,” Walker told The Arizona Republic. “This place that they raided is not in the middle of the desert, it’s not hidden anywhere. It’s in the city of Ajo, and it’s been used for a long time, not to help smuggle migrants, but to give medical care and food and water.”

No More Deaths volunteer Caitlin Deighan also agreed with Walker, saying the arrest was out of vengeance.

“It felt retaliatory in that it occurred less than eight hours after our press conference releasing these findings that implicated Border Patrol,” Deighan said. “But we can’t confirm that with certainty.”

Carlos Díaz, an agency representative with the United States Customs and Border Patrol, told Splinter that this arrest was lawful and not the result of the video’s release.

The Guardian reports that two volunteers with No More Deaths were arrested and charged in 2005 for driving three immigrants “from a desert location to a Tucson church.” A federal judge dismissed the case.

READ: This Yale Student Is Fighting To Free Her Dad From ICE Detainment

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Yalitza Aparicio Says She’s Waiting For A Role That Won’t Pigeonhole ‘Because of Appearance”

Entertainment

Yalitza Aparicio Says She’s Waiting For A Role That Won’t Pigeonhole ‘Because of Appearance”

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty

Since the start of her acting career, Oaxacan actress Yalitza Aparicio has been sure to see that her work helps uphold her community. While many actors on the rise tend to focus on racking up more acting roles and fame, Aparicio has been much more vocal about her desire to focus on her advocacy and work for organizations like Cine Too. What’s more, ensuring that she secures proper representation for Indigenous people like herself.

While Aparicio first made headlines and won our hearts with her performance in the 2018 film Roma the Indigenous actress has yet to appear in another role on screen.

It turns out, it isn’t for a lack of offers.

Speaking with Indie Wire about her career, Aparicio has said that she is taking her time to find a role that properly represents her and her community.

“My objective in my career is to give visibility to all of us who have been kept in the dark for so long,” Aparicio claimed in a recent interview with IndieWire. “The acting projects I’m working on are moving slowly because I’m putting all my efforts in not being pigeonholed because of my appearance.”

Aparicio, who is 26-years-old, was born in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, rocketed to fame when she took on the role of Cleo in Alfonso Cuarón’s 2018 movie Roma. The film, which was nominated for various Academy Awards followed Aparicio as Cleo a housekeeper who works in a wealthy household in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma. Aparicio’s role brought her praise not just for her skills but for her role in solidifying a much-needed portrayal of Mexico’s Indigenous community.

Still, despite the praise and fame, the role brought her, Aparicio is adamant that her next role will be something greater.

“I come from a community where there’s no movie theater, and as a consequence, the population — especially the children that grow up in those communities — has less of an interest in the cinematic arts. [Cine Too] has the possibility to reach these children and provide an opportunity to instill in them the passion for cinema and teach them about this art form,” she explained in her interview. “I’m conscious that every step I take may open doors for someone else and at the same time it’s an opportunity for society to realize we are part of it and that we are here,”

In her interview, Aparicio points out that while she is very aware that Indigenous filmmakers and allies “have a complicated job because these things can’t be changed overnight,” she is still pushing for real change.

“Wherever I go, I’ll always be proudly representing our Indigenous communities,” she asserted. “We can show people that the only limits are within us.”

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Court Orders ICE To Release Children In Their Custody As COVID-19 Tears Through Detention Centers

Things That Matter

Court Orders ICE To Release Children In Their Custody As COVID-19 Tears Through Detention Centers

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

COVID-19 is spiking across the U.S. with 32 states watching as new cases of the virus continue to climb day after day. California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida are among states that have set daily new infection records. With this backdrop, a federal judge has ruled that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) must release children, with their parents, by July 17.

A judge ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release children in detention by a certain date.

U.S. Judge Dolly Gee ordered ICE to act quickly in response to the rampant COVID-19 spread in detention centers to protect the health of migrants. Judge Gee is giving ICE until July 17 to comply and release all children that have been in the agency’s custody.

U.S. Judge Gee ruled that the threat of the pandemic is great where the children are being held.

“Given the severity of the outbreak in the counties in which FRCs are located and the Independent Monitor and Dr. Wise’s observations of non-compliance or spotty compliance with masking and social distancing rules, renewed and more vigorous efforts must be undertaken to transfer (children) residing at the FRCs to non-congregate settings,” Judge Gee wrote in her order.

Concerned politicians and public figures are celebrating the judge’s order.

The order is aimed specifically at the Family Residential Centers (FRCs) and Office of Refugee Resettlement camps across the country. The virus has been running rampant in detention centers and prisons and, according to the judge, unsurprisingly the virus has made it to the FRCs.

She continued: “The FRCs are ‘on fire’ and there is no more time for half measures.”

National leaders are calling on ICE to follow the ruling by a federal judge.

The judge’s order is aimed at the three FRCs in the U.S. Two are in Texas and one is in Pennsylvania. Unaccompanied minors in various shelters are also included in the order.

“Although progress has been made, the Court is not surprised that [COVID-19] has arrived at both the [Family Residential Centers] and [Office of Refugee Resettlement] facilities, as health professionals have warned all along,” Judge Gee wrote.

This story is developing and we will update as new information arises.

READ: After COVID-19 Shut Down Flights, A Man Sailed Across The Atlantic Ocean All So That He Could See His Dad

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