UUSC – Faith Floods in the Desert

Near the U.S.-Mexico border, volunteers with No More Deaths carry gallons of water into remote, dangerous areas of the Sonoran Desert, where dozens of people die every year in their attempt to build new lives in the United States.
Faith Floods the Desert

Near the U.S.-Mexico border, volunteers with No More Deaths carry gallons of water into remote, dangerous areas of the Sonoran Desert, where dozens of people die every year in their attempt to build new lives, escape from danger, or return to their families in the United States. For as many bodies that are recovered in the desert, estimates are that up to three times that number of people go missing and are never found.

This January, No More Deaths released a report with UUSC’s support documenting how U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers routinely destroy humanitarian aid supplies, including containers of water. Authorities responded swiftly, arresting a No More Deaths volunteer that same day. Several other volunteers with No More Deaths have also been charged with federal criminal offenses for leaving water in the desert.

There was a time when such acts – leaving water for people dying of thirst, asserting the rights of all people to receive the basics of humanitarian aid – would be universally understood  as caring for people undertaking the most dangerous journey of their lives. Today, however, they are targeted and attacked as part of a nationwide campaign to further militarize the U.S. border, and criminalize those seeking to provide sanctuary and support.

In response, UUSC is organizing “Faith Floods the Desert,” together with No More Deaths and the Unitarian Universalist Association as part of Love Resists. On August 4-5, we will bring together faith leaders from across the nation to “flood the desert” with gallons of water at the hottest and most dangerous time of year, and vocally defend the legitimacy of life-saving humanitarian aid.

The criminalization of No More Deaths volunteers, along with the criminalization of migration itself, is another way the Trump administration is actively working to dismantle U.S. asylum protections and advance a racist, nationalist immigration agenda. Join us in speaking out for the safety and protection of migrants, many of whom are fleeing violence which the United States is complicit in fostering, by urging your legislators to withhold funding for border militarization and increase accountability for CBP: uusc.org/initiatives/fund-asylum-not-abuse/.

In solidarity,

Hannah Hafter
UUSC senior program leader for activism

P.S. For updates from “Faith Floods the Desert,” follow UUSC on Facebook and Twitter.

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