Ac­tivist ac­cused of har­bor­ing im­mi­grants faces 2nd trial

The Saline Courier - - NEWS - As­so­ci­ated Press

TUC­SON, Ariz. — An Ari­zona bor­der ac­tivist ac­cused of har­bor­ing mi­grants who snuck across the U.s.-mex­ico bor­der goes on trial for the second time Tues­day, in­sist­ing he was sim­ply try­ing to help two men in need.

Pros­e­cu­tors have said Scott War­ren, 37, con­spired to help the men avert au­thor­i­ties and the first trial for the vol­un­teer with the No More Deaths group ended in a mis­trial last June when the jury dead­locked. The group drops off wa­ter for mi­grants in the desert and runs a camp to aid injured mi­grants.

War­ren and his sup­port­ers have said the govern­ment un­der Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has in­creas­ingly scru­ti­nized hu­man­i­tar­ian groups at the bor­der — and pros­e­cu­tors have asked the judge to pro­hibit War­ren from men­tion­ing Trump dur­ing the trial, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

They have ar­gued that any men­tion of the pres­i­dent or his ad­min­is­tra­tion would be ir­rel­e­vant and that do­ing so would pose the dan­ger of un­fair prej­u­dice.

War­ren’s de­fense at­tor­neys have said that the govern­ment’s re­quest would vi­o­late War­ren’s rights and that the pros­e­cu­tion has not shown in what way it would suf­fer if the pres­i­dent were men­tioned. The judge has not ruled on that re­quest.

War­ren, of the small town of Ajo about 40 miles (65 kilo­me­ters) from the bor­der, faces two felony counts of har­bor­ing.

While War­ren has said he was per­form­ing a hu­man­i­tar­ian mis­sion to help mi­grants in need, pros­e­cu­tors con­tend he con­spired they were never in dis­tress. They say 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.

War­ren is one of nine No More Deaths mem­bers who have been charged with crimes re­lated to their work, although he’s the only fac­ing felony charges.

War­ren’s ar­rest came months after Bor­der Pa­trol agents be­gan an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the No More Deaths camp, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments re­leased after news or­ga­ni­za­tions sued to get them.

The doc­u­ments show that in April 2017, an anony­mous Ajo res­i­dent told Bor­der Pa­trol of­fi­cials that he sus­pected mem­bers of the group were har­bor­ing im­mi­grants in their build­ing,

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