Migrants have always been hunted,
criminalized, targeted, in the borderlands, And now that’s extended one step further
to further criminalize the humanitarian aid workers trying to respond
to this crisis. No More Deaths was founded in 2004, as a non-governmental humanitarian response to the crisis of death and disappearance on
the US – Mexico border. We have a spiritual, ethical, and moral obligation,
to stand in solidarity with people and put water in places where humans are dying
of thirst. No More Deaths in addition to migrant justice
and migrant solidarity groups across the country have seen so much more
state oppression this year. Our group along with the Aguilas Del Desierto,
and Armadillos Del Desierto have found a massive number of remains in
this area. When we started working out here in 2014,
there were 30 known migrant deaths in the Ajo corridor, in the desert in this
area: in 2017 there were 57. Our volunteers are facing misdemeanors for
driving in a wilderness area, entering a wilderness area without a permit,
abandonment of property. The misdemeanor for abandonment of property
was for leaving lifesaving gallons of water, cans
of beans, food, socks, blankets, in areas of the desert, one of the deadliest
areas of the southern border. A lot of the refuge managers respond to the
need for humanitarian aid by saying that by putting out lifesaving gallons
of food, that we are hurting this land. Fish and wildlife will put water on the refuge
for wildlife, but they criminalize putting out water for
humans, which is what we do. This weekend, there’s a handful of faith
leaders from across the country, who have all come together in the town of Ajo, to show solidarity both with the migrants
crossing this desert and the humanitarian aid workers, that are
facing criminalization for trying to respond. So, on our hike back, the temperatures are
getting really hot, and one person in our group started to get
really dizzy, and that led to nausea, and these symptoms are things we see in the
desert all the time. I’m a migrant, and I know how hard it is
for people to try to give their families a better life, a better future. There’s spiders, there’s snakes, but the
most dangerous here could be the heat. There is this place called Charlie Bell Pass,
that it could take about seven days for our brothers to get there, That’s the area that we have found a lot
of remains and bodies from people. Right now there is a lot of surveillance,
a lot of criminalization, there are people getting charged for doing this humanitarian
job, but that cannot stop us, that’s something
we have to keep on doing.