The Truth About Two Humanitarian Organizations
Several faith based humanitarian organizations in southern Arizona have joined forces. Their slogan is “Humanitarian Aid is never a Crime”. Funded by churches,
they recruit volunteers who venture into the deserts along the borders of America and Mexico to give life saving aid to illegal border crossers caught in an economical and political cross fire, or so they would like you to think. What is their real agenda? Are they really a subversive anti government cult like group of smugglers using the various churches to fund their illegal operation?
While there are many humanitarian groups and organizations involved in the border arena and doing very positive work both in the field and politically, helping people and raising awareness for immigration reform and change on both sides of the American/Mexican border. I would in no way want to cast a shadow on their work or create a stigmatism for the good they are achieving.
So lets take an in depth look at two particular groups, No More Deaths and the Samaritans. Many of these two organization’s key members go back decades to the earlier Sanctuary Movement of the 1980′s involving El Salvadorian political refugees whom the Regan administration refused to give asylum. They took the law into their own hands, and led by the Reverend John Fife (also involved in the 1960s university anti war demonstrations and riots), the Sanctuary Movement began at the South Side Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona. Its purpose was to smuggle undocumented immigrants from El Salvador in to the United States. Guerrilla fighters, rebels and criminals, who were fleeing to escape execution were included in this literal underground railroad, that smuggled illegal immigrants not just from El Salvador but it gathered immigrants along the way through Central America and Mexico. Then through a network that stretched all the way to Canada, it eventually provided a safe haven to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants and involved over 500 churches and synagogues nationwide. This movement would create a foothold for illegal immigrant families and provide a destination point for other family members and continue to attract illegal immigrants for another generation.
With out any screening process or controls over who was being smuggled into the United States, just one of the major adverse effects was a large very undesirable element that was relocated to our inner cities and formed the most notorious street gang in the history of our world. The Salvadorian gang MS13 (Mara Salvatrucha 13) is one of the most violently dangerous gangs and one of the most organized. This gang has grown to international proportions, with an estimated number of 70,000-gang members today, in the US alone and is a direct result of the Sanctuary Movement.
Including the arrest of the Reverend John Fife, eight activists where convicted on various federal charges in the 1990′s. Several years ago, the same individuals that were involved in the sanctuary movement resurfaced to form the groups No More Deaths and the Samaritan Patrol later to be called the Samaritans. These groups are now walking a fine line between humanitarian aid, which should not be a crime, and indiscriminate but organized smuggling, which is a crime even if you are a church. Considering the past and the present, it is of no surprise that contemporary government agencies are reluctant to work with groups that have such a subversive past and thrive on illegal activity and anti government agendas.
No More Deaths continues to operate out of the South Side Presbyterian Church in Tucson, but moves it’s meetings regularly to different church locations around Tucson. Day workers continue to gather daily at the church parking lot, flagging down vehicles in an attempt to find day laboring work but it is becoming increasingly difficult and the risks are running higher.
Controlling the media was very important, so not only did they bring in their own international media teams sympathetic to their cause but they began carefully screening journalists who wanted to cover their work in the field and any that are approved, are assigned special media persons and given a false tour with no interaction with volunteers who have not been briffed or illegal migrants. They also realized that right wing conservative news won’t criticize faith based humanitarian groups and left wing liberals are supportive of it with out asking to many questions. This puts government officials and politicians in an uneasy spot. So with decades of experience No More Deaths and the Samaritan’s leaders who were no strangers to organizing anti government tactics, began their new agenda by first creating a cloud of false government persecution in which to operate under. First there is “Abuse Documentation” or stories they have heard or made up that will foster sympathy for their cause and open a can of worms for any government agency that takes to close a look at their activities. Playing this abuse documentation angle also keeps them very well funded, with large grants from the Unitarian Universalistic Funding Program and tens of thousands of tax free dollars from other churches and non profit activist groups under the disguise of the Social Justice Ministry. The term they like to use for their actions is “Civil Initiative”, nothing more than a gentle for euphemism for revolutionary or anarchist. To give this trump card an air of validity, they even published a book in
The Book Crossing the Line
September of 2008, “Crossing the Line” with over 100 pages of the most horrendous accusations, in the form of written accounts and affidavits, based solely on hearsay, against U.S. Border Patrol Agents working in the field and detention facilities that had never been visited. Down load PDF version of the book “Crossing the Line” This hearsay documentation was actually presented at Congressional briefing in Washington D.C., hosted by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.). The U.S Border Patrol says that these allegations are false. Rep. Grialva has long been a supporter of No More Deaths and the Samaritan’s work as well as their cause. Now that his campaign is in trouble and the fact that they need his pull, No more deaths has issued an immediate call to action in support his campaign.”We cannot afford to lose his representation in congress” This is not only unethical but should cause their church tax exempt status to be reevaluated.
From: Nancy Myers <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: [NMD Local] Support Grijalva – His Reelection May Be At Risk!!
Date: October 13, 2010 5:01:31 PM MST
To: Hannah Hafter <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Gene and Sue Lefebvre <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Nancy Myers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Think of Raul as part of a cause or movement, not just a candidate.
Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 4:38 PM
Subject: [NMD Local] Support Grijalva – His Reelection May Be At Risk!!
Hi everyone! This is a message from Brissia Perez, who has been active in No More Deaths in the past and is currently working on Grijalva’s re-election. Scary news, and they need us all! I don’t typically think No More Deaths should be a forum for specific candidates but Raul has done SO MUCH to support our work in particular, I would like to support him back – and we need him here in AZ.
Raul’s district is in trouble and it is in trouble because he took a strong stand against 1070 to protect us. Multiple polls are showing him at either 2 point above or below Ruth McClung. We have Raul’s toughest race since 2002 on our hand. We cannot afford to lose his representation in congress. With only 3 weeks left we need all the people that Raul speaks up for to speak up for him–to fight for him. Just stop by our campaign office any day (452 S. Stone ave) and we’ll put you to work.
Our immediate need and call to action is for TODAY, wednesday the 13th. Raul is debating Ruth McClung at the pima community college desert vista campus at 4:00pm, but before that, the tea party is having a rally to cheer on our opponent at 3:30. We need a lot of bodies to make noise and show Raul support before his debate and to counter the tea party efforts. We’re meeting there with signs at 3.
Coregroup mailing list
In my photojournalistic capacity I have accompanied both the humanitarian organizations and the Border Patrol in the field, I have also toured and photographed these facilities during actual operation, and can honestly say from experience that they are clean, well maintained and not as described by the No More Deaths accusations. Many other accounts will collaborate on these findings.
No More Deaths then developed a very sophisticated system of high tech data collection. Gallon water jugs are put along migrant paths close to the border and marked withtheir own coded GPS coordinates. Volunteer groups farther north pick up empty water bottles and record the GPS coordinates of where the water
bottles where found, along with the location where they were first set out, this comparative data is all entered into a custom computer-mapping program. There is now a very up to date record of major migrant traffic routes and collaborated with detailed field reports that are turned in at the end of each day by volunteer patrols. This should explain the adamancy for putting out literally tens of thousands of one-gallon water jugs. They claim that they also pick up water old water jugs, a nobel act of trash removal but in actuality they are refilling the ones picked up and putting them out again until they don’t come back. Water jugs are also placed in remote desert locations away from know illegal traffic routs, where advance information would be paramount to the preplanning of illegal activity.
No More Deaths is fully aware that the water they put out along the border region, is not just helping illegal migrants at the mercy of the cartels, but also available to criminals coming here for illicit activities, smugglers and drug runners. Controlling the water on the desert smuggling routs gives these two groups a great deal of power over illegal activity.
Expanding their operation while relying on long established connections throughout Mexico and Central America these groups have now expanded into
Mexico by renting an apartment in Nogales Mexico where key members can stay and work freely on their agendas while providing cell phone service for illegal activity and communication with humanitarian patrols on the U.S. side. NMDs has recently acquired two shelter locations in Nogales Mexico that will provide approximately 25 to 30 beds each and has set up a camp on the Mexico side of the Mariposa port of entry the sleeps 60-80 people.
Continuing their propaganda No More Deaths has developed a recruitment plan to attract student volunteers from around the world and charges them $20 per day, per volunteer, with detailed instructions on applying for school funds. During college spring breaks as many as 150 students per week, donating $100 each will come to the border completely naive to any hidden agendas. Prior to arrival, students are given suggested reading on politically orientated topics related to the group’s core social ideology and their Social Justice Ministry. They are then given several days of orientation to the oganizations own philosophies, including legal presentations on their rights in the field and preparations for confrontations with Border Patrol Agents. A field manual is given to them with numbers for 24 hr legal, medical, supervisor’s numbers, and a direct line to the Mexican Consulate. Unfortunately these students begin their border experience with a very biased attitude toward the US Government. Every member in the field carries a legally prepared note to present to any government authority that confronts them. The heading reads “Humanitarian Aid is Never a Crime” and it states as follows:
To whom it may concern: My name is______, I am a volunteer for the humanitarian organization No More Deaths, I am in the process of providing sealed jugs of water for persons traveling in the arid desert. I am engaged in this activity because I have a right and responsibility to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to those who are in danger of great bodily harm or death due to severe dehydration. Any further questions may be directed to my lawyers: Bill Walker (520-907-1291) Margo Cowan (520-850-0058)
Charging students to stay at camps set up by No More Deaths in the Coronado National Forest in April 2010 requires special permits. Continuing to disregard the law and the honor of this country (while flying the Mexican Flag over their camp), it should be of no surprise that they where under the watchful eye of the US Forest Service.
Continuing to establish a foothold on college campuses, the approach has been to strong-arm universities by digging into the backgrounds and practices of their business clients in an attempt to pressure universities (U of A included) to sever certain financial ties to corporations that do not have a code of conduct and standards consistent with No More Deaths alleged domestic and international labor and human rights standards. Pressure has also been directed toward university staff through the formation of various subversive student groups including, UA La Raza Studies’ Social Justice Education Project.
In 2008 NMD’s backed an effort by the UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers) to unionize a chain of Food City grocery stores here in Tucson. Their particular interest was to protect illegal workers who where being let go when found out. I shop at Food City along with other multi cultural families because of the low prices there. Food City, Bashas (a huge contributor to local food banks) and AJ’s have created a unique business plan where they can serve very diverse economic communities by offering price and quality levels that give food shopping opportunities to a boarder section of families in our area while reducing waste, compared to the all union food markets with high overhead and proportionate high prices with larger amounts of waste. Food City has even provided the public with a choice of two web sites, English or Spanish. Undermining their contributions and upsetting this plan affects the economic balance of many communities for no other purpose than selfishness, greed and hidden political agendas. I must ask how this can be considered a humanitarian act? A legal battle that Food City eventually won, cost them millions of dollars, forcing them to raise the price of all their products across the board, but no union representative etc, is allowed on the property for 5 years. NMDs, with no concern for consumer costs, are now organizing a boycott of Food City Markets.
Along with their own legal team, and branching off into Europe and the middle east, No More Deaths and the Samaritans are gaining power at an alarming rate by forming cozy alliances and collaborating with, politicians, and government officials. Recently a special investigator began to look into the actions of No More Deaths and the Samaritans and was immediately transferred. Other influential organizations such as the Sierra Club ,with their 1.3 million members, has provided information on NMDs with space on their website, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants with No More Deaths members masquerading as official human rights observers. A special link on NMDs website is provided for in depth alleged abuse documentation against United States Government agencies and employees but no verification from the submitter is required. In reality it merely becomes undocumented accusatory statements but to this group and its followers it becomes a cult like reality. This may seem harsh and in no way excuses the horrific reality of death in the desert, but let us keep in mind a very important fact, crimes in the desert arena on United States land such as rape, robbery and murder as well as those left behind to perish in the desert with out water, are committed by the victims own countrymen from Mexico, who they have either brought with them for hire or are here to profit off the actions of their illegal immigration actions.
Choosing Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge as their battleground for breaking the law under their own rationalization with the taxpayers footing the bill is justanother instance of their disregard for for the American system of government. Based on the information above, these anti government groups should not be allowed to put water in any form in the Sornan Desert as the act is in reality not humanitarian aid but by all rights it may be considered treason. Considering the steadily escalating violence in Mexico that is spilling across the border, illegal migrants, who are now being guided by coyotes working for the cartels, smugglers and drug runners, criminals traversing the border to commit crimes in our communities, are all using the water and poses a serious risk to the citizens of the United States as well as a danger to people using the border lands for legal purposes, and creating stress on the wildlife and more litter on the land. The groups, known as No More Deaths and The Samaritans, have expanded their illegal operation into Mexico and increased their cross border communication through a network of cell phones, making them a threat to US security. Humanitarian groups and activist organizations should be doing all they can to discourage illegal immigration which will save migrant lives, so protective legislation can be passed to help families already here while implementing a guest worker plan. The long-term effects of leaving water bottles and food is causing a false hope of making it across the desert and has contributed to the catastrophic rise in migrant deaths, this does more to harm chances for a comprehensive immigration reform which should be the major objective.
In these times of continuing threats of terrorist attracts, a neighboring country with a collapsing government ridden with drug violence and murder that is dangerously close to being run by war lords, the US government and the American people must stand ever vigilant to protect it’s self from subversive anti government groups.
We are in a new era where radical religious organizations are gaining political power and all to turning to different forms of terrorism to make their messages heard, while trying to control governments.
Is this a more powerful and better organized sanctuary movement and a serious threat to national security?
Is the very survival of this country at stake?
Is there a point when Humanitarian Aid really does becomes a crime?
Karl W Hoffman
Documentary Film Producer