Some might agree with the escalating Trump rhetoric of stricter immigration policies making us feel safer. But the trial of Scott Warren has people questioning does basic human kindness also warrant criminal charges nowadays?
At a time when people think humanity is dead and people are becoming more self-centered in this day and age, one man could now face up to 20 years in prison for giving hungry migrants food and water in the Arizona desert.
Scott Warren, a humanitarian aid worker, was arrested for merely providing shelter to migrants trekking through the desert. Yes, some might agree with the escalating Trump rhetoric of stricter immigration policies making us safer but the trial of Scott Warren has people on the streets questioning does basic human kindness also warrant criminal charges nowadays?
The ongoing debate on Warren's actions has seen two sides -- one that claims what he did was harbor undocumented immigrants while the others believe that it is a just a human instinct to help the needy.
The federal trial for Scott Warren had begun last week. It all happened on January 17, 2018, when the US Border Patrol officials arrested Scott Warren on three felony charges. There were also two undocumented men arrested along with him -- Arnaldo Sacaria-Goday from Honduras and Kristian Perez-Villanueva of El Salvador. As reported by CNN.
Prosecutors have claimed that the border patrol agents found out Warren was at a remote desert location called “The Barn”. He had met two people who were fitting the description of “lost illegal aliens”, reports Guardian.
The reports also suggest that the two men had allegedly entered the United States and that Warren didn’t know them and nor did he help them get to the Barn. But once he had met them there, it is believed that Warren did give them “food, water, beds, and clean clothes” for three days. Interestingly enough, the federal prosecutors don’t claim he did anything more sinister than this.
Warren used to work with an aid group called "No More Deaths", who look after providing critical supplies to migrants entering the arid Sonoran Desert, after crossing the US border from Mexico. Surprisingly, Warren isn't the only one facing charges. Over the years, there are now at least five No More Deaths volunteers who await their prosecution by federal law enforcement officials.
Nate Walters, the assistant US attorney leading the prosecution, believes that this case is not about "humanitarian aid." He added that Warren was arrested for his decision "to shield illegal aliens from law enforcement for several days."
On the other hand, Gregory Kuykendall, Warren's defense attorney told the courtroom that "No More Deaths is not on trial. Scott Warren is." He added that his client was a "law-abiding, life-giving Good Samaritan" who "never gave [the migrant men] anything besides basic human kindness."
Today the trial of Dr. Scott Warren begins.— Amnesty International (@amnestyusa) May 29, 2019
Dr. Warren faces up to 20 years in prison for giving food and water to migrants in the most deadly desert area of the USA-Mexico border. @USAO_AZ must #DropTheCharges- saving lives is not a crime! pic.twitter.com/hIF6LJxLLX
Following this incident, many humanitarian aid workers are fearing to even help people. It's "a difficult, frightening, profound moment for humanitarian workers," Peg Bowden, a volunteer with the Green Valley/Sahuarita Samaritans was quoted as saying by CNN. Bowden has been helping migrants by providing them food at a soup kitchen in Nogales, Mexico. She also teaches English to asylum seekers.
So what do you think? Does Scott Warren deserve facing up 20 years in prison for showing basic human kindness?