WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement after sending a letter to the Chief of the Tucson Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol after concerning reports that Border Patrol agents raided the No More Deaths (NMD) humanitarian group camp and arrested four migrants who were receiving medical attention. This incident breaks precedent from previous protocol and is an apparent violation of an agreement between NMD and CBP.
“I am deeply concerned to hear about the reported intrusion of Border Patrol Officers into the No More Deaths humanitarian camp,” Rep Grijalva said. “Given their previous agreement with NMD, it is extremely alarming that they would enter the camp with thirty CBP agents, fifteen CBP vehicles, and a helicopter to detain four migrants. For years, NMD has provided humanitarian assistance to individuals in order to prevent them from falling victim to the harsh terrain and scorching heat of the Sonoran Desert. Throughout all those years, CBP has been able to do their jobs without the slightest hindrance from NMD. This incident further exposes the inhumane approach taken by the new Administration. I fear that such actions and incidents will only deter migrants already putting themselves in peril’s way from seeking water, food and shelter when they need it most.”
The letter requests that “written details of the changes to the agreement established between the Tucson Sector CBP and NMD” be provided. As stated, “In 2013, the Tucson Sector CBP established a written agreement with NMD that recognized it would respect the group’s camp as a medical facility under International Red Cross standards that prohibit government interference with humanitarian aid centers.”
Full text of the letter can be found here.