No More Deaths is an advocacy group based in Arizona, U.S fighting to end the deaths of migrants crossing the desert in the borderlands of the U.S-Mexico border.
Their fearless team and volunteers not only provide food, water and medical aid to people crossing the border through the Arizona desert, but also offer humanitarian aid to people in Mexico who have been deported from the U.S.
We sat down with No More Deaths to learn more about their work.
Can you explain how No More Deaths came about?
We began in 2004 when a group of folks in southern Arizona realized that there was a crisis of suffering, deaths and disappearance of migrants in the southern Arizona border lands.
Why is No More Death’s work so essential?
We save lives. Over 9,000 people have died trying to migrate between Mexico and the U.S. We want to prevent more from dying. Everyone has a right to migrate and to basic humanitarian aid.
What would you like to see change for those migrating?
The development of immigration laws and policies that are humane, just and not racist.
What dangers do people face when crossing through the desert?
Physical illness such as extreme dehydration, hypothermia and gastrointestinal problems; animal bites and stings; disorientation, getting lost or being left alone by your group or coyote; hunger; exhaustion; and assault and coercion.
What risks do No More Deaths take to give humanitarian aid?
No More Deaths volunteers face increased criminalization of their work over the past two years. Nine volunteers have faced criminal charges for leaving life-saving food, water and medical supplies in the desert and providing other basic humanitarian aid to migrants. NMD volunteers work in the desert 365 days a year, providing medical aid, leaving water and food, and conducting search and rescue operations for those lost and missing in the desert.
How have things changed since No More Deaths began and where things are at today?
People will always seek to migrate. And as violence, poverty and climate change worsen in much of Latin America and other parts of the world, people will continue to seek a better life, no matter what the risks and the deterrence policies put in place. Recent U.S. federal immigration and asylum policy changes have further increased the dangers of this already perilous journey for so many. In addition, the current administration has made it clear that it has little tolerance—and in fact will prosecute—those seeking to give humanitarian aid to migrants and refugees. However, No More Deaths believes that everyone has a right to offer—and to receive—humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian aid is never a crime. So, we will continue in our life-saving work.
To learn more, donate and volunteer, visit No More Deaths.