Border Activist Faces 20 Years In Prison For Giving Hungry Migrants Food And Water, Does He Deserve It?

Border Activist Faces 20 Years In Prison For Giving Hungry Migrants Food And Water, Does He Deserve It?

36-year-old Scott Warren, a volunteer at 'No More Deaths' is facing 20 years jail time for aiding two undocumented migrants.

A 36-year old, humanitarian aid volunteer was arrested last year on January 17, 2018, for supplying food, water, and other basic necessities to undocumented migrants crossing the US southern border which leads into Arizona. The US Border Patrol officials arrested Scott Warren on January 17, 2018, along with two undocumented men- Arnaldo Sacaria-Goday of Honduras and Kristian Perez-Villanueva of El Salvador. 



Warren has been volunteering his services for an aid group -- No More Deaths, who work towards providing critical supplies to migrants entering the arid Sonoran Desert, after crossing the US border from Mexico.

The 36-year-old was not the only volunteer who had been taken into custody. President Trump's administration first began with the southern border humanitarian activists in 2017. Now at least five No More Deaths volunteers await their prosecution by federal law enforcement officials.



According to Tuscon.com, the two men who were arrested along with Warren had suddenly shown up at 'the Barn' (which is the aid group's operational base) when the volunteer was on his way back from the store. On their arrival, the undocumented men reportedly told him how they had nothing but a few sports drinks and a burrito in the due course of their arduous 2-day journey across the desert region. Hearing about their exhausting trip, he decided to cook them a meal and provide them clothes. 



The two had been staying at the Barn for three days before the officials showed up and arrested them. As per a report, No More Deaths claimed the federal authorities arrested one of their own just so they could get back at them. A video released by the group revealed how the patrol agents are destroying water-filled jugs which were kept for the migrants by these activists. They think it was a direct response to this viral footage as Warren was arrested, just hours after the video was released. 



US Attorney Nathaniel Walters viewed Warren's case in a whole new light. He said the case "is not about humanitarian aid," but whether the accused "intended to violate the law," by keeping Sacaria-Goday and Perez-Villanueva from border patrol agents.

He added, "No More Deaths is not on trial. Scott Warren is." Gregory Kuykendall, Warren's defense attorney told the courtroom how his client was a "law-abiding, life-giving Good Samaritan" who "never gave [the migrant men] anything besides basic human kindness."



Warren has been charged with three counts of harboring and conspiring to harbor illegal aliens. He could be facing jail time of up to 20 years and his trial began this Wednesday at the Tuscan-based US District Courtroom. Fortunately, Warren didn't fall short of supporters as his parents Mark and Pam hosted a rally right outside the courtroom and they were joined by numerous others who felt he was wrongfully arrested.

Mark Warren told the crowd, "We were crushed to learn that he was facing serious federal charges that could result in his incarceration for many years," reported Daily Mail.



"We had always been concerned, worried as parents about his work in a dangerous and tumultuous region. We just never imagined that one of the great dangers he faced was from our own government," he continued.

John Marquez and Brendan Burns, the US Border Patrol officers who arrested the humanitarian reportedly told the court that they had begun surveilling Warren on the day of his arrest. They further added how they were looking for two suspected undocumented migrants who were last seen wandering a gas station. Following the trail, they ended up finding them at the Barn. 



Tucson Sentinel reported how a surveillance video was shown to the court which clearly showed Perez-Villanueva and Sacaria-Goday purchasing sports drinks, cigarettes, and food at a gas station after which they stayed at the cafeteria for some time.

Burns backed the story by telling the jury how he saw Warren providing landmarks to these men by pointing at the areas they could possibly avoid the checkpoints that are constantly patrolled. In addition to that, Warren also radioed his fellow agents for backup moments before being arrested, said Burns.


Kuykendall, the defense attorney didn't let this slip by and in turn, asked the agents if they were certain if the accused men matched the description of the ones they were supposed to arrest. To which Burns replied, "In my experience, they were other-than-Mexican... In my mind, these could possibly be them."

A counter question was asked by Kuykendall, "You didn't know anything about them other than, they were not Mexican, isn't that true?" And the answer was 'no.' Warren's fate is yet to be decided as he awaits his trial which has been scheduled at 2:30 pm on Monday.


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