Second trial against activist who helped migrants begins

TUCSON, Arizona (AP) – The United States (US) federal government will again make a case against an Arizona border activist accused of harbouring immigrants who had sneaked across the US-Mexico border but who said he was simply helping two men in need.

Scott Warren, 37, faced two counts of harbouring when his trial started yesterday, five months after a jury deadlocked on charges against him in a June trial that garnered international attention.

Warren, of Ajo, Arizona, said he has a humanitarian mission to help migrants in need. He’s a volunteer with No More Deaths, a group that drops off water in the desert and has a camp where it aids those who are injured.

But prosecutors said Warren conspired to help the men avert authorities and that they were never in distress. They said Warren gave them directions on how to avoid a Border Patrol checkpoint when they left the No More Deaths camp in Ajo in January 2018.

The new trial which started yesterday is expected to last a little less than two weeks. Thousands of immigrants have died crossing the border since the mid-1990s, when increased enforcement pushed many to Arizona’s scorching desert.