Four women found guilty of dropping off food, water on border for immigrants face $500 fine, 6-months in jail


Democrats are often accused of aiding and abetting illegal immigrants in their quest to gain entry into the United States and four women found guilty of illegally entering a national wildlife refuge along the southern border don’t help with that perception.

The women’s actions also go a long way toward supporting President Donald Trump’s insistence that illegal immigration is a humanitarian crisis, and to showcase the impact his get-tough stance on the issue is having.

The women are humanitarian aid volunteers for the advocacy group No More Deaths, and they were found guilty as part of an effort to drop off water and food for those illegally entering the country along a protected wilderness area along the Arizona-Mexico border, notorious for the number of human remains recovered each year, the Arizona Republic reported.

More from The Republic:

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernardo Velasco found Natalie Hoffman, a volunteer with humanitarian aid group No More Deaths, guilty on all three charges against her. He also found three other volunteers — Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse and Zaachila Orozco-McCormick — guilty of the two charges they each faced.

Hoffman had been charged with operating a vehicle inside the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Arizona, entering without a permit, and leaving behind 1-gallon water jugs and cans of beans. The charges stemmed from an encounter with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife officer at Cabeza Prieta on Aug. 13, 2017.

The court found her three co-defendants, all passengers in the truck Hoffman was driving inside the refuge, guilty of entering the area without a permit and abandoning personal property.


The charges are misdemeanors and the women now face up to six months in prison and a $500 fine.

Catherine Gaffney, a volunteer with No More Deaths, released a statement criticizing the judge’s ruling, appealing to the nations’ conscience over the rule of law — a sure sign of a liberal.

“This verdict challenges not only No More Deaths volunteers but people of conscience throughout the country,” she said. “If giving water to someone dying of thirst is illegal, what humanity is left in the law of this country?”

Prosecutors argued that the 10 rescue beacons that the Border Patrol installed inside the refuge was the “preferred way to save lives,” rather than dropping off water jugs with gave “false hope” to migrants.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel Walters noted that Border Patrol installed 10 rescue beacons in the refuge for those who are in trouble, saying this was the “preferred way to save lives.”

The prosecutor said dropping off water jugs gave illegal immigrants “false hope.

President Trump addressed the nation Saturday, offering a deal he called “a compassionate response to the ongoing tragedy at our southern border,” compromising on key points to get Democrats to agree to address the porous U.S.-Mexico border.

As might be expected, an intransigent Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the deal before the president even voiced it.

The guilty verdict is the first of its kind under the Trump administration, according to The Republic.

And there are five other volunteers from No More Deaths facing charges, including Scott Warren, who was arrested in February 2018 on felony charges of harboring illegal immigrants.


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