4 Immigration Activists Convicted for Aiding Illegal Immigrants
Members of 'No More Deaths' group found guilty for helping illegals cross border
Four female members of an immigration activist group were found guilty by a federal judge of illegally entering a national wildlife refuge to help illegal immigrants cross the US-Mexico border.
The women were convicted Friday for aiding illegal immigration after they were caught leaving food and water for migrants crossing the Arizona desert to help them enter the United States illegally.
The activists were volunteers with No More Deaths, a group campaigning to end deaths of illegal immigrants crossing the sometimes treacherous desert landscapes along the border, according to reports.
All four women are still awaiting sentencing but could be facing up to six months in prison each for the crimes.
Recognizing that the impact of yesterday's verdict against #NoMoreDeaths will fall hardest on frontline communities impacted by border militarization and the prison industrial complex, tonight we will hold a *noise vigil* at Eloy Detention Center. #WaterNotWalls #NoOneIsIllegal pic.twitter.com/HWDdOXE5oW— No More Deaths (@NoMoreDeaths) January 19, 2019
According to Fox News, prosecutors said Natalie Hoffman had been driving a vehicle inside the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Arizona on Aug. 13, 2017.
The group was leaving 1-gallon water jugs and cans of beans, reports said.
She was also accused of entering the refuge without a permit.
The other three women -- Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse, and Zaachila Orozco-McCormick -- were with Hoffman when they encountered a U.S. Fish and Wildlife officer inside the refuge.
They were found guilty of entering the area without a permit and abandoning personal property.
Violating the law
"The Defendants did not get an access permit, they did not remain on the designated roads, and they left water, food, and crates in the Refuge," U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernardo Velasco wrote in his three-page order posted online Friday afternoon.
"All of this, in addition to violating the law, erodes the national decision to maintain the Refuge in its pristine nature."
The women all face up to six months in prison for the misdemeanor convictions and a $500 fine.
No sentencing date has been scheduled.