The recent arrest and trial of immigrant activist Scott Warren threw fuel on the fire of the immigration debate at the state level in Arizona as well as at the national level.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, prosecutors indicted Warren, a humanitarian activist working with No Más Muertes, on one count of conspiring to smuggle two migrants and two counts of harboring them in January 2018. Warren provided the migrants with food, water, and clothing for several days at a location known as “The Barn” near Ajo, Arizona.
His trial ended in a hung jury with eight jurors voting “not guilty” and four voting “guilty.”
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ03) issued the following statement the day after the trial of Warren ended in a hung jury:
Scott Warren did something that the Trump Administration is simply incapable of: He stayed true to his values, saw an injustice, and took on an immense personal responsibility to help. His efforts made him the scapegoat of the federal government, and despite their attempts to jail him for living his values, he stayed true to doing the right thing.
The anti-immigrant policies implemented by the Trump Administration at the border have created a humanitarian crisis that the President refuses to remedy. Providing humanitarian aid to immigrants is not a crime, and I’m pleased that some members of the jury understood that.
“Score a victory for human beings,” wrote Laurie Roberts in the Arizona Republic. Roberts goes on to discuss the shift prosecution under President Trump noting that prosecutors formerly focused more on human smugglers rather than humanitarian workers.
The next step in the process is in the hands of the prosecutor. It is unclear whether the prosecution will move to retry or drop the charges against Warren.