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Border Agents Raid Humanitarian Camp, Arrest Immigrants

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents arrested four undocumented immigrants who were receiving medical treatment at a humanitarian camp near Arivaca, Arizona, on June 15.

The agents raided the No More Deaths/No Mas Muertes camp, which sits on private property, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

Maryada Vallet, a volunteer with the camp, said the Border Patrol went back on its word to the humanitarian organization:

In the last four years we have had a written agreement that states that the Border Patrol will respect international Red Cross standards in allowing us to provide humanitarian assistance without government interference.

We know that Border Patrol through their surveillance had already caught the group on camera miles away. We were told that Border Patrol had been tracking a group of people for 18 miles. What we think is suspicious about this is that they did not take them into custody, but waited until they got to the medical camp

We think this was a direct targeted attack on the humanitarian assistance we have been providing during the deadliest time of the year, and we have been providing this humanitarian assistance for over 13 years.

No More Deaths/No Mas Muertes also tweeted about the arrests on June 15: "The choice to interdict people only after they entered the #NoMoreDeaths camp is evidence that this was a direct attack on humanitarian aid."

Arizona's Border Patrol office tweeted on the same day: "UPDATE: 4 illegally present Mexican men arrested after #USBP agents serve warrant at No More Deaths camp in Arivaca, Az. #CBP #HonorFirst."

The Arizona Border Patrol tweet included a press release that said agents "detected four suspected illegal aliens wearing camouflage and walking north on a known smuggling route."

The Arizona Border Patrol also said it tracked the immigrants to the humanitarian camp: "Other agents then tracked the group to the No Mas Muertes Camp near Arivaca but did not find foot sign of the individuals leaving camp."

"Tucson Sector Border Patrol reached out to No Mas Muertes Camp representatives to continue a positive working relationship and resolve the situation amicably," the press release continued. "The talks, however, were unsuccessful."

The Arizona Border Patrol said it obtained a warrant, raided the camp and arrested "four illegally present Mexican nationals" for "immigration violations."

According to the Arizona Border Patrol, two of the immigrants needed "additional medical care at a local hospital."

No More Deaths/No Mas Muertes released a statement on Facebook, which described the Border Patrol raid as "an unprecedented show of force" on June 15:

In temperatures surging over 100℉, US Border Patrol raided the medical aid camp of humanitarian organization No More Deaths, and detained four individuals receiving medical care. Obstruction of humanitarian aid is an egregious abuse by the law enforcement agency, a clear violation of international humanitarian law and a violation of the organization’s written agreement with the Tucson Sector Border Patrol...

The heavy presence of law enforcement has deterred people from accessing critical humanitarian assistance in this period of hot and deadly weather. These events also follow a pattern of increasing surveillance of humanitarian aid over the past few months under the Trump administration.

This afternoon, in an unprecedented show of force, approximately 30 armed agents raided the camp with at least 15 trucks, 2 quads and a helicopter to apprehend four patients receiving medical care.

Sources: Arizona Daily Star, No More Deaths/Twitter, CBP Arizona/Twitter, No More Deaths/No Mas Muertes/Facebook / Photo Credit: Gerald Nino/U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security via Wikimedia Commons

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