TUCSON, Ariz. - A humanitarian aid group released videos that show Border Patrol agents kicking and pouring out water bottles left in the desert for illegal border crossers. The footage was posted last week and then a few days later, a volunteer from that group was arrested.
The No More Deaths group says they've been leaving water out in the desert west of Tucson for years at a place called "The Devil's Highway" where so many border crossers have died of thirst and exposure.
The group says both Republican and Democratic administrations have allowed them to do their work, but since President Donald Trump took office, things have changed.
>>No More Deaths Video: Footage of Border Patrol Vandalism of Humanitarian Aid, 2010-2017
No More Deaths says after the video came out, the Border Patrol arrested Scott Warren, a faculty associate with Arizona State University. Agents say he helped two illegal immigrants hide in a place called "The Barn" in Ajo and gave them food, water and clothing.
No More Deaths says the U.S. government is content to watch border crossers die.
"I think Border Patrol as we saw in our report says it does not have a policy on interference, but interferes with our work furthering their deadly policies of death and disappearance in the desert," said No More Deaths' Jeff Reinhardt.
But Scott Warren is not the only person facing federal charges. We have learned that in Tucson, eight other people are looking at fines or potentially worse for helping distribute water to migrants in the desert.
"I think it is shameful. The U.S. needs to back down. There are people who will say look, they shouldn't be here, so the government is entitled to punish them in any way. Well, you know, entering the U.S. to join your family or fleeing persecution doesn't deserve a death penalty," said Margo Cowan, an attorney for No More Deaths.
We wanted to find out what the U.S. government has to say about all of this, so we reached out to the U.S. Border Patrol. They referred us to the U.S. Attorney's office in Tucson, which had no comment.