TUCSON, Arizona – A US jury was unable to pass judgment on Tuesday against a border activist accused of conspiracy to transport and take in migrants.
Defense lawyer Scott Daniel Warren, a 36-year-old high school geography teacher, arrested only two migrants at the beginning of 2018 for water, food and shelter. He was faced with imprisonment of up to 20 years.
However, the prosecution claimed that the men were not in distress and Warren plotted to transport and house them on a site to assist migrants in a city in Arizona near the US-Mexico border Under President Donald Trump's strict immigration policy, he came increasingly under the microscope.
In front of the courthouse, Warren thanked his supporters and criticized the government's efforts to reduce the number of immigrants who come to the US
"It is still necessary for local residents and volunteers to show solidarity with humanitarian aid Migrants and refugees are showing, and we must also work for our families, friends and neighbors in our own country, most threatened by the militarization of our border communities, "Warren said.
Glenn McCormick, spokesman for the US law firm in Arizona, declined to comment on Warren's ongoing lawsuit. The judge closed a defense and prosecution hearing on July 2nd.
Warren is one of nine members of the No More Deaths humanitarian aid group accused of crimes related to their work. But he is the only one charged with criminal charges.
In West Texas, a district attorney was arrested earlier this year after stopping her car on a dark highway to pick up three young migrants who had stopped her. Teresa Todd was briefly detained and federal agents searched her cell phone.
Border activists say they are worried about the gradual criminalization of humanitarian action.
Warren said his case could set a dangerous precedent by extending the definition of the crimes of transporting and housing migrants to include people who merely seek to help border crossers who urgently need water or other necessities.
Warren and other No More Deaths volunteers were also attacked earlier this year in a separate federal offense after leaving water, canning, and other migrants migrating through the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona ,
In Warren's crime case, the defense team led by Greg Kuykendall argued that Warren could not turn away with good conscience away two migrants who had recently crossed the desert to enter the US
Jurors said Monday they had none Consensus could reach the indictment against Warren, but a federal judge told them to keep thinking. They were on a deadlock on Tuesday and were finally released.
Thousands of migrants have died across the border since the mid-1990s, when the heightened enforcement pushed migrant traffic into the burning deserts of Arizona.