Members of a group that provides life-saving humanitarian aid to migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border say they are being illegally targeted in an increasingly hostile manner by U.S. Border Patrol agents.
The group No More Deaths says that one of its humanitarian aid camps in southern Arizona is being harassed by the Border Patrol – part of a new and more aggressive policy favored by the Trump Administration in countering what it considers dangerous and illegal immigration into the United States by way of Mexico.
No More Deaths says its function is non-political. Its only goal is to prevent human death, suffering and needless tragedy. The group has been providing humanitarian aid programs along border regions for years.
One of its common practices is to leave bottles of fresh water and food along remote trails frequented by border-crossers seeking dangerous passage across the hot desert lands of this region. They also provide medical care and shelter to migrants who make it over to the U.S. side in Arizona. Learn more about Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey
But now a more aggressive Border Patrol is taking counter actions against No More Deaths, including slashing water bottles left alongside trails. They are also threatening No More Deaths volunteers with felonies for helping illegal migrants.
The new tactic of surrounding and monitoring the No More Death humanitarian camp location is just more illegal provocation and harassment, the group says.
But now No more Deaths is getting a financial boost to further its cause – it recently received a donation from the Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund.
The Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund was established by journalists Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey who work for Village Voice Media which publishes the Phoenix New Times.
In October of 2007, Larkin and Lacey were arrested under the orders of then Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for daring to write stories about what was happening with local law enforcement efforts concerning the control of illegal immigration, including the methods of Maricopa sheriff’s department and U.S. Border Patrol. Read more: Michael Larcey | Facebook
The journalists were taken from their homes in the middle of the night and thrown in jail by deputies of Sheriff Arpaio. Larkin and Lacey were released from jail within 24 hours, but the newsmen sued Maricopa County for violation of rights granted to them under the protection of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Larkin and Lacey received a $3.7 million settlement paid to them by Maricopa County. Some of those funds will now bolster the efforts of No More Deaths, an organization that will almost certainly face increasing pressure from federal authorities as the Trump Administration steps up efforts to curb illegal migration.
Members of No More Deaths are not about to stop their long-term efforts to prevent deaths in the desert, while Border Patrol officials seem determined to minimize the interference of a group they believe is making it more attractive for illegal aliens to enter the U.S.