Immigration

Scott Warren, Facing 20 Years in Prison for Aiding 2 Undocumented Migrants, Takes the Stand

"My intent was to provide them with some basic humanitarian aid."

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Scott Warren, on trial for providing humanitarian aid to two migrants, testified in his own defense on Thursday.

Warren, a volunteer with the advocacy group No More Deaths, faces a possible 20-year prison sentence for two counts of harboring undocumented immigrants and one count of conspiracy to transport and harbor them. He argues that his alleged crimes amount to nothing more than basic human kindness.

On January 14, 2018, by Warren's account, two Central American migrants—Kristian Perez-Villanueva and Jose Arnaldo Sacaria-Goday—arrived unexpectedly at "the Barn," a building in Ajo, Arizona, used by No More Deaths and other aid groups. Upon speaking with the migrants, who were suffering from blisters, dehydration, and exhaustion, Warren performed a brief medical assessment. He says he subsequently arranged a check-up by a doctor, who advised that the two migrants stay off their feet.

Warren allowed the men to remain in the Barn for the next three days. Asked in court whether he intended to break the law, he replied that his "intent was to provide them with some basic humanitarian aid."

Nate Walters, the assistant U.S. attorney, paints a very different picture. He argued in his opening statement last week that the case "is not about humanitarian aid," and that Warren in fact hatched a nefarious plot "to shield illegal aliens from law enforcement for several days."

A great deal of the federal government's case hinges on two pieces of circumstantial evidence, including Warren's relationship with Irineo Mujica, a Mexican-American activist who runs a shelter for migrants in the nearby town of Sonoyta, Sonora. Warren and Mujica met at the shelter several days before Mujica drove both migrants to the Barn, which the prosecution says is proof that Warren planned their stay. In doing so, they say, he conspired against law enforcement.

Warren told jurors that his communication with Mujica actually involved efforts to recover border crossers' human remains from the desert—an activity that No More Deaths and similar volunteer groups often undertake. Mujica has not been charged in the case.

Prosecutors have also highlighted testimony from Border Patrol agents who say they observed Warren pointing to mountains in a conversation with the two migrants. They assumed the exchange included instructions on how to avoid a Border Patrol checkpoint as the men resumed their hike.

According to Warren, he was merely warning the two that it would be "critical" that, in case of emergencies, they keep tabs on State Route 85—the only paved road in the area, which runs between two mountains.

Warren disputes the overall notion that he plotted to shield the men from Border Patrol. "We are not going to hide them, we're not going to keep them from Border Patrol," he says he told the two migrants.

This isn't the only time the crackdown on undocumented immigrants has expanded to become a crackdown on people offering humanitarian assistance. Most recently, a city attorney was arrested and detained for stopping on a West Texas highway to assist three young migrants, one of whom was gravely ill.

Closing arguments in the Warren case are underway this afternoon.

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88 responses to “Scott Warren, Facing 20 Years in Prison for Aiding 2 Undocumented Migrants, Takes the Stand

  1. Gut reaction? I don’t see this ending in a conviction.

        1. If the prosecutor does a good enough job, the jury will certainly rule against this chap and the judge will send him straight off to the slammer. Saying that one’s intent was merely to offer “basic humanitarian aid” and not to shield illegal aliens, is like claiming one’s intent was to engage in “parody” and not to damage a reputation with criminally deadpan impersonation, and we know how the courts have ruled on that. See the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

          https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

    1. Or if he is convicted “up to 20 years” will drastically reduced. But the process is the punishment, of course. The message has been sent to other would-be life-savers.

      1. Life savers generally call medical professionals, not drive them to a migrant shelter. He didn’t save anybody’s life. Way to learn the basic facts.

        1. So if you find a hiker with a broken leg in the middle of the Allegheny National Forest, you’re going to what? Leave them at the bottom of the cliff while you hike out until you can get cell service, then call 911 and attempt to describe where you left her?

          No, good samaritans in the backwoods do not just call the “professionals” and abandon their charges. You might be able to get away with that in an urban or suburban setting but that is wildly inappropriate in a wilderness environment.

      2. “The message has been sent to other would-be life-savers.”

        Indeed. Contact Welcome Wagon and call it a day.

  2. Ooh, let’s hear the “libertarian” justification for prosecuting this man.

    [crickets]

    [pin drop]

    [rustling sound in Crusty’s pubes]

    1. Well he did point at the mountains, if that isn’t damning evidence I don’t want to live in America anymore.

    2. He’s tangentially guilty of sex-trafficking.

      1. Yes! Also money laundering and treason!

      2. Ha. Seriously, it would not surprise me if someone tried to characterize these actions as aiding human trafficking.

    3. Can’t hear something that doesn’t exist.

    4. Libertarians still believe on theaw and following it they arent anarchists.

      1. Not if it’s unjust. It’s certainly unjust punish someone for merely helping his fellow man.

        1. Bank robbers needing help would agree.

          Theives needing help loading their truck would agree.

          1. Right, but the fact that you characterize this situation like that merely points to the fact that you’re a conservative, not libertarian. I’m not sure why you’d expect anyone outside of DS to listen to you regarding libertarian theory.

            1. Poor troll. So sad.

    5. Somehow I knew JesseAZ would try to justify this.

    6. “muh anarchy”

      If you’re not an anarchist, the libertarian justification is plain.

      If you are an anarchist, you’re fundamentally confused, and if anything like racebaiterjeff, you’ll just ignore and evade the response given.

    7. There isn’t any moral justification for prosecuting this man, just as there is no moral justification for prosecuting those who feed the homeless.

      1. The guy is committing perjury on the stand, which is a crime.

        Feeding fellow americans cannot be a crime because there is no constitutional authority to prevent it.

        Aiding and abetting illegals while also violating immigration law yourself falls under the federal governments enumerated powers to regulate immigration and national defense.

        1. Illegal? Apparently? Moral? Hardly.

          Not all the homeless in this country are “citizens” either. Some jurisdictions are still attempting to enforce laws penalizing giving money or food to homeless, including one in which I used to live in Ca.

    8. Actually, I would be interested in hearing whether a law prohibiting the giving of humanitarian aid could be struck down as unconstitutional. Of course, such laws make no sense. However, what would be a constitutional argument that one has a right to give humanitarian aid to someone in need? What is the enumerated federal power for regulating humanitarian aid that does not cross state boundaries?

      1. Don’t you realize that, apparently, nearly anything someone does seems to, somehow, influence “interstate commerce?” (Though there have been some minor victories in that area recently.)

        1. Love that constitution though. Super effective, to the point of worship.

          1. The only thing worse than having a constitution, is NOT having a constitution. About a hundred times worse.

      2. The question consitutionality is NOT about whether you have the right, it’s whether the government has the authority. You have myriad rights not listed in the constitution but the government ONLY has the powers and authorities delegated to it by the constitution.

        So in short, no, it’s not constitutional to make it illegal to give water to a dying migrant.

        1. I agree. Beyond whether it’s “constitutional” or “legal,” generally, it’s simply cruel to refuse medical treatment or sustenance. To anyone.

      3. They hung the doctor who “aided”John Wilkes Booth.

        1. Uh. No. He did spend several years in prison, But then, he was convicted of conspiracy to murder (Lincoln), and not “feeding the hungry.”

    9. Republicans are the ones prosecuting per their platform. By their lights this is not just any thoughtcrime, but NEFARIOUS thoughtcrime for which even Jesus would throw the defendant bodily into the deepest levels of the Inferno without no steenkin trial.

  3. >>>faces a possible 20-year prison sentence for two counts of …

    something north of aggravated assault? oh wait, helping people wtf

    1. It was an assault upon our entire nation. He’s practically a wartime traitor.

      1. The potential sentence is to harsh but its against the law to aid and abet criminals violating constitutional federal law.

        1. Yup libertarians are all about defending immoral federal laws.

          1. It isn’t an immoral law. You just don’t like it.

            1. So I do not have an inherent right to association? Someone else may (must) dictate with whom I may associate?

        2. So, explain to me exactly what “constitutional federal law” this individual has violated.

          1. Article I, section 9, clause 1. Congress has the enumerated power to regulate migrants as of 1808.

            Congress creates various immigration laws and these people are violating them.

            With that being said, most federal laws carrying sentences possibilities that are too harsh.

  4. Holy shit, this actually pisses me off. I have no sympathy for any border patrol employee or law enforcement officer who drops dead at this point. Let them rot in hell, for all I care.

    1. Migrants, give them everything! Border patrol, kill them all! Thanks for your intelligent contribution AOC.

      1. This is the actual depth of argument supporting this decision. Amazing.

    2. #HateAmericaFirst

  5. OT Post: (But I thought that all of ye Reasonoids should know right away!)

    President Trump has announced new, off-the-legislative-books, spur-of-the-moment, 100% tariffs on ALL new incoming exports from Brazil!

    In a statement, President Trump twittered, “I’ve heard about literally tens of thousands of Brazilian soldiers, armed and ready to make war, any war called on the behalf of the Brazilian State. This many Brazilians of soldiers is CLEARLY excessive! Destabilizing! I’m not a fan of Brazilians of soldiers anywhere! So till they make themselves content with a mere few bazillions of soldiers instead, we’re going to have to tariff them and make them pay for it!”

    See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkdci55adqk for more details…

    1. It’s sad when idiots have to make shit up to try to win something.

      1. It’s very-very sad when sub-idiots lack ANY semblance of a sense of humor. Sad! As our much-admired POTUS says…

        1. Leftists always project their inadequacies on the Right.

    2. What? Oh… a fake Ventures/Riders in the Sky spoof. Whew. Good April Fools, SQRLSY.

  6. When did Shikha change her name?

    Or is she still on maternity leave after her and Ilya Somin had this awful kid named billy?

    1. Shikha is pretty awful, but maybe don’t be a complete asshole and leave her family ( including newborn?!) out of it.

  7. What the hell does basic human kindness have to do with the law?
    Basic human kindness would allow pain relief without risking jail.
    Basic human kindness would not kill babies.
    Basic human kindness would let women take a sex job if they wished.
    Basic human kindness would let people have freedom of speech.
    At least MLK was willing to take the jail time when he broke the law.

    1. Reassuring to see the Klan still has the guts to weigh in on a troubling thoughtcrime lynching. Conservatives will someday evolve to 1874, or past 1933, just you watch…

    2. All hail the law?

      Ugh

  8. Harboring illegal aliens is a federal crime. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s the humanitarian thing to do. It’s a crime. Go revel in what a nice guy you are in prison.

    I’m sure there are exceptions for “exigent circumstances”, but hanging out for 3 days aint it.

    #LockHimUp

    8 U.S. Code § 1324 – Bringing in and harboring certain aliens
    (a) Criminal penalties
    (1)
    (A) Any person who—
    (iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place,
    https://liicr.nl/2EIDjwv

      1. Just a suggestion to improve the effectiveness of your upvoting.

        Why not just make it 10 with ten being the top number? Could go to 11 but all I see is 1 with a bunch of zeros after.

        Then instead of just adding zeroes after 1 you could go +8.5 or something. Also a minus scale for things disagreed” -3 for that one “ for example. There are entire integers being ignored here.

        It is difficult for readers to understand how +100 and +10000000 relate. There is nothing below zero and proportions seem like the number of times hitting the zero key. Just a suggestion. Do whatever you want.

        1. He’s a bot. Just a few established nonsensible patterns. Like the rev, only republican.

      2. no thanks on YOUR ideas for upvoting.

        The the 0x1000 troll is upset about…something. Surprise.

    1. and all tyrannical laws should be overturned by juries if our elected representatives won’t do it.

      1. Tyrants employ no juries nor would there be representatives of the people.
        Perhaps you are thinking of jury nullification?

    2. “knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien…”

      How could one prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Warren knew the immigration status of the migrants? Is there a law that requires someone to check E-Verify before giving humanitarian aid? Not being an immigration officer, how could Warren have known with certainty that the migrants in question lacked work permits or tourist visas? Is there a law that requires citizens to racially profile others?

      “conceals, harbors, or shields from detection…”
      Simply providing lodging is not the same as concealing, harboring, or shielding from detection. Border Patrol agents even admit to having observed Warren talking to the two migrants. If Warren was trying to “conceal” the migrants, he wasn’t doing a very good job of it. Did “the Barn” have any special security mechanisms to thwart surveillance, alert migrants of approaching Border Patrol agents, or make it especially difficult for law enforcement to find the migrants if they had a warrant to search the facility? If not, then the Barn was not specially designed to shield nor harbor fugitives. Rather, it was just a place of accommodation that could easily be observed or surveilled or legally searched with probable cause.

      1. “How could one prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Warren knew the immigration status of the migrants?”

        That’s up to the jury.

        The Left always turns to disingenuous radical skepticism as a last resort rhetorical ploy.

        How do you know they weren’t Martians?
        How do you know you’re not a brain in a dish?

        1. Ladies and gentleman of the jury.

          I present you with a brain in a dish from mars who will answer any questions you may have.

    3. the law is the law is the law right?

      Three felonies a day

    4. “Harboring illegal aliens is a federal crime”

      If the illegal alien shows up in a hospital what happens?

      Will the hospital and medical workers be prosecuted and placed in prison for providing nutrition, hydration, medicine, anything the individual requires to preserve life? Do those supersede whatever the cops say?

      It is a crime to do so as you pointed out.

      Fuck that.

      1. As I said:
        I’m sure there are exceptions for “exigent circumstances”, but hanging out for 3 days aint it.

        But you go on completely ignoring arguments that contradict The Narrative. That’s what cognitive dissonance is for, after all.

        1. Open borders is the most important thing to these people.

          All their arguments center around that point. Its why their points are all over the place to justify breaking a perfectly constitutional regulation of the US Border and the illegals that cross it.

      2. Your buddy shows up with a bullet wound so you hide him in your barn to recover…
        or
        you drive him to the hospital where professionals give aid and also contact police as they are instructed to do by law with gunshot wounds.

        1. Cite such a law.

          It is a legal obligation which is under State, not federal, guidelines to report cases such as domestic or evidence of child abuse. We talk about that here often.

          There is an ethical and possibly legal obligation to notify authorities if a patient has serious threat to themselves or others. There are potential liability issues but those are civil in nature.

          You are using a red herring. If these people showed up needing temporary food, water, and shelter. They have no evidence of a possible violent criminal act such as gunshot injury or stab would, I cannot see where the argument holds.

          If they had showed up to the hospital with the same needs there would be no way to arrest and imprison the doctor or nurse on criminal charges for not calling INS.

          If there are such laws I protest them.

    5. Out come God’s Own Prohibitionists to defend the Five and Ten law making beer a felony, Texas laws making plant seeds, stems and roots a felony, and NSDAP Kristallnacht laws. A wall would at least protect some simpletons from these kinds of lynch mobs on the ‘Murrican side.

  9. Good intentions and participation awards for everyone!

    1. The Right thinks the Left has good intentions.
      The Left thinks the Right has evil intentions.
      Both are projecting.
      Both are wrong.

  10. Once they’ve been arrested and deported, haven’t they been documented though?

    1. Take DNA of everyone deported.

      It will come in handy someday to check everyone applying for any kind of US residency.

      1. +100

        Plus match up to unsolved crimes. We might be surprised by the hits.

  11. I’m calling it right now: the judge will instruct the jury that they must obey the letter of the law, even if they disagree with it. The sheeple will obey, and the guy will be convicted.

  12. […] Scott Warren, on trial for providing humanitarian aid to two migrants, testified in his own defense on Thursday. Warren, a volunteer with the advocacy group No More Deaths, faces a possible 20-year prison sentence for two counts of harboring undocumented imm… Read More […]

  13. Not shocking, or even blatantly incorrect, but this article does take the defendant’s word for it. Obviously, the government is not in the position to do that.

    Seems this really comes down to whether you think the situation at the border is in need of a robust response or not. The jury can decide whether the defendant was actually just trying to provide humanitarian assistance or if it was more nefarious. But the government believes there was more to the story and if there is, then this is clearly something that should be prosecuted.

  14. Good! You all can try to paint this pretty in a hundred different ways.. but the simple fact remains, he KNOWINGLY harbored two illegal aliens and did not contact the authorities. He could have given them food and water then contacted the authorities to come and get them He chose not to and housed them for a few days. If some robbers broker into your neighbors house and stubbed their toes.. and you took them into your house KNOWING what they did, fed them, fix their little owies and did NOT call the police.. that makes you complicit and a criminal. This is no different. 20 years is obviously too extreme but this guy should be prosecuted.

  15. Nonsense. If he wasn’t trying to help them avoid the Border Patrol, he should have called Border Patrol and had them come pick up the illegal immigrants.

    This asshat is just trying to get off on a technicality.

  16. […] acted out of compassion or religious conviction. The case was “not about humanitarian aid,” according to Nate Walters, an assistant U.S. attorney, but about a scheme “to shield illegal aliens from […]

  17. […] Government thugs continue their crusade against Christian charity: […]

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