From our friend, Paul Barby: No More Deaths sent this out. It is an outrage. Sue
July, 31, 2020
We wanted you to know about this breaking development in our work:
U.S. Border Patrol entered our humanitarian aid camp near Arivaca, Arizona, yesterday without a warrant, detaining one person, in a clear prioritization of an enforcement only strategy, while migrants were seeking medical aid and respite.
As we write this, agents are currently surrounding and surveilling the property on the ground and in the air, and have not obtained a warrant.
PLEASE CALL TUCSON STATION BORDER PATROL and demand that they stand down and respect humanitarian aid at (520) 514-4700.
Sample script: My name is _____ , and I’m calling to demand that Border Patrol stand down from the No More Deaths humanitarian aid station and stop interfering with lifesaving aid during a record-breaking heat wave.
Temperatures in the area are currently surging over 100 degrees consistently. Our work becomes even more vital in the midst of this heat wave and Border Patrol’s actions are a clear and flagrant obstruction to people receiving lifesaving humanitarian aid.
This escalation comes only a day after No More Deaths/ No Más Muertes released documents revealing that the Border Patrol union (a pro-Trump, anti-immigrant, extremist organization) provoked a June 2017 raid of our camp, calling in support from the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), the agency’s special operations unit, which was also recently deployed to Portland, Oregon.
Border Patrol has always been aware of our work at our aid camp and we have continued to maintain open lines of communication with them. The camp is on private property and we have always exercised our rights against warrantless searches.
We have long experienced and documented Border Patrol’s interference with our humanitarian aid work. In Part II of our report series, Disappeared: How US Border Enforcement Agencies are Fueling a Missing Persons Crisis, we document a pattern of interference with humanitarian aid. In the report, we argue that Border Patrol’s obstruction of humanitarian aid is not an anomaly, but is rather a logical extension of a border enforcement strategy designed to push people into life-threatening danger and use death as deterrence. This report can be read here. In addition, a video summary of the report can be seen here.
As Part II of the series discusses, Border Patrol agents have surrounded, surveilled and raided our camp on several occasions, most recently in June 2017 - until yesterday.
During the June 15, 2017 raid, Border Patrol agents conducted a military-style raid on our medical aid camp, after surrounding it for 48 hours. Just like yesterday, the raid took place in the midst of a record heat wave, with temperatures reaching well over 100 degrees. And once again, yesterday, during the most dangerous time of year in the borderlands, the Border Patrol’s resources were focused on policing a humanitarian aid station. As we explain in the report:
“These actions by Border Patrol create an atmosphere of fear and tension in a place where injured, ill, and often deeply traumatized people come in need of medical aid and respite. As one volunteer has stated, the raids and surveillance “destroy . . . the environment of safety that camp requires in order to help people with healing.” In addition, migrants in need of medical care can be frightened away and deterred from seeking help at the camp if they believe it will result in their arrest. For them, this means continuing to walk rather than seek help, potentially under conditions of severe dehydration and untreated injuries or illnesses.”
We believe that the unimpeded provision of lifesaving humanitarian assistance is essential and that Border Patrol should let us do our work in peace, in accordance with International Red Cross standards and protocols.
Next month, we will release the third report in the series, titled Left to Die: Border Patrol, Search & Rescue, and the Crisis of Disappearance. For a summary of the full report series, please go here.
If you’d like to help us continue our work, please consider giving a gift here now.
If you can’t give, we appreciate your support - please call the Tucson Border Patrol Office at the number above and demand that the Border Patrol stand down and let us continue to do our aid work.
Thank you for being with us during this challenging time.
The No More Deaths/ No Más Muertes community
P.S. To keep up to date on happenings at our aid camp, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram