Scott Daniel Warren, a volunteer with aid group No More Death, was arrested on Jan. 18, 2018, in Ajo, Arizona at a site used for giving immigrants food, water, beds and clean clothes. Two migrants taking refuge at the site also were arrested.
Warren has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
His arrest took place just hours after No More Deaths unveiled a report accusing the Border Patrol of tampering with water stations left for migrants trekking through the harsh Arizona desert.
Warren's attorneys have argued to get the charges dropped, saying his actions to assist people in distress are rooted in his religious convictions.
"I am compelled to act. I am drawn to act. I have to act when someone is in need," Warren testified last May.
Federal prosecutors argued that the migrants were never in distress and therefore didn't need Warren's help.
A growing number of immigrants are dying in the Arizona desert, due mostly to soaring temperatures and lack of water.
Warren earned a doctorate in geography from Arizona State University, where he also works as an adjunct instructor. He wrote his dissertation on Ajo and the surrounding area and now lives in the community.
The trial will take place in U.S. District Court in Tucson.
Scott’s parents, Pam and Mark Warren, have started a petition with MoveOn asking the U.S. attorney general’s office to drop the three federal felony charges for offering humanitarian aid to 2 migrants in the southwest borderlands of the U.S. If convicted he faces up to 20 years in prison for trying to avert more preventable deaths in the Sonoran Desert.
Please sign the petition here: https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/drop-all-charges-against-7?akid=234777.33911968.Sh-LOd&rd=1&source=mo&t=6
“Bodies in the Borderland: Scott Warren Worked to Prevent Migrant Deaths in the Arizona Desert. The Government Wants Him in Prison,” by Ryan Deveraux, The Intercept