U.S. Activist Facing 20 Years Behind Bars for Harboring Migrants

Harboring MigrantsUpdated: May 29, 2019 / 6:05 a.m.

An activist in the state of Arizona is being charged for harboring two undocumented migrants and is facing a trial on Wednesday, in a case that is likely to set an example over what aid U.S. citizens can give to illegal border crossers.

The U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested Scott Warren in a raid that took place in January of 2018 near the location of Ajo, Arizona after finding two migrants hiding inside of the shower of a dilapidated building that is used by humanitarian groups.

The 36-year old is facing two felony counts for harboring the undocumented migrants and one felony count of conspiracy to transport the two men. The university geography instructor could also face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all charges against him.

Warren was indicted after Jeff Sessions, the former U.S. Attorney General, instructed prosecutors to prioritize cases that involved the harboring of migrants. The crackdown was in connection to President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policies meant to deter illegal immigration.

Warren is known as a volunteer for No More Deaths, which is a faith-based group that helps provide food, water, and medical aid to migrants in the harsh deserts of southern Arizona.

Cases have shown that over 3,000 undocumented migrants have died since 2001 from trying to cross the area where temperatures can exceed above 115 Fahrenheit (46 Celsius), according to Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner data.