While Donald Trump claims that his often inhumane immigration policies are to promote the safety and well-being of Americans, there seem to be a growing number of incidents each month that suggest otherwise. This month marks the end stretch of the trial of immigration activist Scott Daniel Warren, 36, who could face up to 20 years in jail for providing life-saving supplies to migrants in the desert, The Guardian reports.
It began when former Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions issued a memo in 2017 pressuring prosecutors to more strictly enforce the punishment of a small handful of federal crimes surrounding immigration, in the wake of what he described as supposed beheadings and machete attacks committed by migrants.
Months after the memo, prosecutors pressed charges against Warren with one of the offenses in Sessions’s memo, conspiracy to transport and harbor migrants—a felony that prosecutors rarely enforce but could put Warren behind bars for 20 years.
But prosecutors, according to court records, recognize that Warren didn’t actually conspire to anything. Prosecutors claim that border patrol agents witnessed Warren commute to “the Barn,” a remote desert base used by a humanitarian group that the defendant volunteers with called No More Deaths. Upon his arrival, he found two individuals who they described as “lost illegal aliens.” Warren did not know the two men, nor did he help transport them into the United States, but he allegedly gave them “food, water, beds, and clean clothes” for three days.
The prosecution of Warren is a manifestation of a hard-line immigration stance that prioritizes policy over justice and humanity. One agency alone, the Pima County medical examiner, found 2,615 dead bodies of migrants in this one part of Arizona from 2001 to 2016, illustrating the fact that Warren is facing charges quite literally for saving human lives.