Thursday, June 27, 2019
Four women, all volunteers for No More Deaths, who left water and food for migrants in the summer of 2017 faced criminal trial this week. Following a three-day bench trial, the four were found guilty. The women were charged with misdemeanor crimes based upon their entering protected federal land without a permit and leaving food and water there. The Washington Post reported: "Prosecutors said they (the women) violated federal law by entering Cabeza Prieta, a protected 860,000-acre refuge, without a permit and leaving water and food there."
Of course, the motivation for the prosecution was the women's aiding migrants, but the prosecution for impermissible entry into federal land is an easier prosecutorial "win" than prosecuting for providing humanitarian aid. "Aid workers say their humanitarian efforts, motivated by a deep sense of right and wrong, have been criminalized during the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal border crossings. Federal officials say they were simply enforcing the law. " More accurately, just following orders.