9 No More Deaths Aid Workers Go To Trial In Border Case

Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 8:57am
Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 3:04pm
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Michel Marizco/KJZZ
No More Deaths volunteers and supporters gathered outside U.S. District Court in on Jan. 15, 2019, shortly before the trials went underway.

About 50 people gathered outside the federal courthouse in Tucson on Tuesday morning ahead of the complicated trial. Nine defendants are charged with everything from entering a wildlife refuge without a permit to abandoning "personal property."

The nine are volunteers with No More Deaths, an aid group that offers food and water to migrants who cross the border illegally. That food and water were the personal property of those accused. No More Deaths counters that the government is retaliating against the outspoken group.

"The need doesn’t change regardless of what’s legal and what’s not, and if you criminalize aid, the need doesn’t go away," said spokesperson Justine Orovsky Schnitzler.

The ninth defendant is an ASU educator, also charged with a misdemeanor but who also faces a human smuggling felony charge.

KJZZ's Michel Marizco joined The Show with an update on the case.

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