Arizona USA Michael Bailey is Using Scott Warren to Legally Intimidate Aid Workers

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When Dr. Scott Warren’s jury hung 8 to 4 in favor of acquittal, the Arizona USA, who was only appointed by Trump this May, and had until that point ben AZ AG Brnovich’s chief deputy, was faced with making the decision whether to retry Dr. Warren.

The decision was made by the principal in the office, Mr. Bailey himself. No one else could or would have made the decision to so thoroughly waste office resources in an effort to retry Dr. Warren, other than Mr. Bailey. There is no mistaking the clear message to humanitarian aid workers all across the border region: “Don’t help the desperate people dying in the deserts unless you wish to face prosecution.”

This is part of a larger policy of harassing and immiserating refugees seeking entry and asylum in the United States, and The Trump Administration certainly does not want do-gooders meddling in their plans to torture and humiliate refugees.

“Warren’s arrest was the most aggressive in a series of escalating actions taken by federal law enforcement against border-based aid providers since Donald Trump’s election.” The official policy of the United States to control the border is, after all, prevention through deterrence. One element of deterrence is apparently to intimidate aid workers from providing aid to immigrants.

For instance, No More Deaths took video of agent destroying aid supplies they had left in the weeks prior to Warren’s persecution:

I can see how these CBP agents think they are furthering the mission of prevention through deterrence with these actions. But I wonder if they consider carefully the people who may need those supplies to stay alive in the harsh conditions of the Sonoran Desert in summer?

The section of U.S. Code that Dr. Warren has been, and will again be persecuted with is 8 U.S.C. §1324. Reading it, you will not find that giving food, water, shelter, medical aid, or clothing in the title. Instead, the state’s theory was that Dr. Warren attempted to transport or move illegal aliens in the United States. Needless to say, that legal move is unusual in a case in which there is no profit motive; no one was alleged to have been paid to further the refugees’ movement into the U.S.. “In Warren’s case, the government claimed that Perez-Villanueva and Sacaria-Goday were not in distress when they got to the Barn and that Warren gave them directions for continuing north.”

It is the thinnest of cases: Warren is said to have been seen making hand movements indicating how to travel north. Ridiculous. Now, that theory of the case has been tried and found wanting by a jury. Yet Michael Bailey has made the decision to spend thousands of man hours to re-prosecute such a weak case? There is only one explanation, and it is not flattering to the integrity and probity of Mr. Bailey’s office. Mr. Bailey appears to be willingly lending the power of his office to the Administration’s campaign to intimidate and prosecute legitimate humanitarian aid workers. Mr. Bailey is helping to advance this Administration’s grossly inhumane border policies of demonstrative cruelty to deter entries by refugees with this politically-motivated and poorly-evidenced persecution.

I think it would be productive and interesting were someone in the media to demand the records of any communication between Bailey’s office with the leadership of the Justice Department and the White House regarding the prosecution of Scott Warren.

Amnesty International has compiled a report entitled ‘Saving Lives is not a Crime’ on the prosecution of aid workers on the US/Mexico border that highlights many prosecutions, including Scott Warren’s. One of it’s major recommendations, which I think is just common sense: halt prosecutions of humanitarian actions under 8 U.S.C. §1324 for “smuggling” or “harboring”. Mr. Bailey should take a careful look at that report and realize he’s on the wrong side of history, even if he’s currently on the side of the Trump Administration.

 

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