Border Patrol Leaves Hundreds of Asylum Seekers Stranded in the Cold, Detains and Threatens Aid Workers Attempting to Respond

Inches of snow fell along the border wall near Sasabe, Arizona this weekend

Approximately 400 asylum seekers waited along the border wall near Sasabe, Arizona yesterday, in hopes of being picked up by Border Patrol. 

Border Patrol never came. During the night, snow and freezing temperatures set in. By this morning, a few inches of snow had accumulated and humanitarian aid volunteers found hundreds of people still stranded along the wall with no sign of a Border Patrol response. 

Volunteers with No More Deaths, Tucson Samaritans, and Green Valley Samaritans began evacuating people to the Border Patrol Station in Sasabe. Many volunteers were detained and threatened with arrest by Border Patrol agents who said that they were informed of the situation but did not plan to drive out to address it. As the snow melted and road conditions turned muddy, volunteer vehicles continued to evacuate people despite threats of arrest in anticipation of more dangerously cold conditions tonight.

Now, Border Patrol is refusing to allow more people into the station to be processed. At the time of writing, there are over 250 adults and children left exposed to the elements outside of the Sasabe station. Despite persisting for over three months, Border Patrol has failed to adequately allocate resources to address this ongoing crisis.

People cannot be left out in such life-threatening conditions. A response must be enacted now to establish adequate shelters, warming centers, and other basic necessities for those who seek safety and asylum in Sasabe.

URGENT: Emergency Humanitarian Relief at the Border

Photo by Leslie Ann Epperson

Donate today to help sustain our humanitarian aid efforts at the border

There is a humanitarian crisis ongoing at the border as we are seeing drastically increased numbers of asylum seekers crossing in remote mountain areas. Customs and Border Protection has not been adequately responding, at times even threatening humanitarian aid volunteers with arrest while leaving hundreds stranded in deadly, hypothermic conditions. No More Deaths / No Más Muertes, fellow humanitarian aid groups, community groups, and individuals have stepped up to help care for them, but the situation is continuing to escalate. The Tucson Sentinel wrote an article that illuminates the suffering and dire need, please check it out here.

Thus far we have re-allocated funds to manage this support, but those funds are running low and our work is far from over. We are asking our community to help us by making a donation today so we can continue to provide blankets, clothing, food, shoes, and other humanitarian aid. Our volunteers are working tirelessly to get these supplies directly to the people in danger of hypothermia and exposure due to the winter weather.

If you would prefer to send your donation via mail, please be sure to indicate that it is for Emergency Border Wall Support send it to:
No More Deaths
PO Box 40782
Tucson, AZ 85717

Monetary support is greatly appreciated, but we are also excited to announce that we will temporarily be able to accept physical donations at the Global Justice Center at 225 E 26th St, Tucson, AZ, for our local supporters. You can drop off daily, any time between 9:00am and 7:00pm until January 9th.

Here are the top priority items we need:

  • Tarps
  • Large Tents (camping or military style)
  • Emergency Blankets
  • Blankets
  • Warm clothing for adults and kids: jackets, hats, gloves, rain ponchos
  • Lighters, waterproof matches
  • Contractor bags
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Menstrual pads
  • Cold medicine
  • Food – pop top cans, MREs, granola bars, bread
  • Baby formula
  • Diapers

We appreciate our community for continuing to support our humanitarian aid efforts. Without you, it would not be possible to make a significant impact on the crisis. Please email us at fundraising@nomoredeaths.org with any questions.

OPERADOR DE REPORTES DE EMERGENCIA

Fecha Límite de Solicitud: 15/02/2024

Fecha de Inicio: 01/04/2024

Aplique Aquí:  https://form.jotform.com/233065732269156

En No Más Muertes buscamos un Operador de Reportes de Emergencia para unirse al Equipo de la Línea Directa de Personas Extraviadas que trabajará junto con el Operador de la Línea Directa de Crisis, y será responsable de comunicarse con agentes de la Patrulla Fronteriza para solicitar que se inicien búsquedas de personas desaparecidas. En este equipo, colaborará con socios de No Más Muertes y otros grupos comunitarios a ambos lados de la frontera para responder a las peticiones de los familiares que buscan a sus seres queridos desaparecidos y proporcionará asistencia humanitaria, civil y no violenta para la crisis de las personas desaparecidas en las zonas fronterizas.

Acerca de No Más Muertes

Somos una organización humanitaria con base en el sur de Arizona. Nuestra misión es poner fin a la muerte y el sufrimiento migratorio por medio de la iniciativa civil y trabajamos abiertamente como comunidad para defender derechos humanos fundamentales. 

Sobre los Proyectos y Eventos del Equipo

Los proyectos surgen según el clima político en la frontera, el Equipo de la Línea Directa trabaja en grupo para dividir las responsabilidades de los proyectos que surjan según la disponibilidad respectiva de recursos.

En caso de que aumente el número de llamadas, los proyectos del equipo pueden detenerse. Eventos fuera del estado están sujetos a la capacidad, habilidad y, disponibilidad de cada individuo y se comunicarán con antelación. Algunas responsabilidades incluyen:

  • Mantener un horario flexible con el fin de estar preparado y disponible para participar en proyectos comunitarios y eventos del equipo local a Tucson.
  • Acompañar y apoyar a la comunidad a sus citas con la corte de inmigración dependiendo de la capacidad del grupo

Función y Responsabilidades del Puesto

El trabajo se realizará desde nuestra oficina de Tucson y en remoto. Tus funciones incluirán:

  • Utilizar la información y las coordenadas transmitidas por el Operador de la Línea Directa para determinar las estaciones de patrulla fronteriza correspondientes y realizar informes de emergencia
  • Permanecer tranquilo, sereno, sin distracciones y con pleno control de las capacidades cognitivas manteniendo un rendimiento adecuado en situaciones de estrés
  • Hacer llamadas a la Patrulla Fronteriza para casos de emergencia o casos activos, y realizar reportes de emergencia a la Patrulla Fronteriza y pedir que se realicen búsquedas para personas desaparecidas 
  • Hacer seguimiento y mantener comunicación cada dos horas con Patrulla Fronteriza por medio de teléfono y correo electrónico
  • Mantener comunicación con el Operador de la Línea cada dos horas  transmitiendo la información recibida de la Patrulla Fronteriza y actualizarla hasta que se cierre el caso
  • Recopila y documenta la información adecuada durante todas interacciones y archiva las notas, grabaciones, registros, etc., según sean necesarios
  • Mantener una comunicación consistente con el equipo, así como con el Operador de Línea, respondiendo a mensajes por Signal y WhatsApp en una manera rápida y eficaz
  • Participar regularmente y de forma activa en las reuniones de grupo proporcionando información sobre proyectos finalizados y en fase de planificación
  • Asistir a los cursos de formación ofrecidos por el equipo para promover un mejor rendimiento en el trabajo, o según sea necesario, con el fin de mantenerse informado sobre las operaciones actuales, los proyectos y los cambios en el clima político
  • Colaborar con el equipo en diversos proyectos, según se requiera o solicite, participando periódicamente con la comunidad en proyectos humanitarios cuando resulte necesario

REQUISITOS

  • Bilingüe en inglés y español
  • Residencia local a Tucson 
  • Habilidad para comunicarse de manera cómoda y efectiva con agentes de la Patrulla Fronteriza
  • Capacidad para manejar situaciones de gran estrés y gestionar conversaciones intensas
  • Capacidad para mantener la compostura y ejercer moderación cuando surjan interacciones verbalmente provocadoras, hostiles o estresantes
  • Aptitud de trabajar en equipo dentro de la Línea Directa de Crisis
  • Comunicación respetuosa con los compañeros de trabajo

Cualificaciones Preferidas

  • Experiencia usando Signal y Whatsapp
  • Competencia básica en computadora
  • Capacidad multitarea

CONDICIONES DEL CONTRATO

  • Contrato de 12 meses con opción de renovación anual tras evaluación cualitativa a los tres y seis meses. Incluye un período de formación de dos semanas y un período de observación remunerado de 90 días
  • 30 horas semanales
  • Horas activas de la Línea Directa de 5am-9:30pm con turnos de 4-5 horas al día. Lunes a Viernes y fines de semana cerrados
  • Salario mensual de $20 por hora
  • El material de trabajo a proporcionar incluye teléfono, laptop y hotspot

Nuestro Paquete Incluye

  • Modelo híbrido con un 50% de trabajo desde casa
  • PTO flexible y Vacaciones de Invierno
  • Cobertura médica y dental

No Más Muertes valora la diversidad y anima fuertemente a las personas de color, a las personas con discapacidad, a las mujeres y a los solicitantes LGBTQ+ a que presenten su candidatura. Las personas con vínculos personales con la frontera o que se identifican como procedentes de una comunidad afectada son especialmente animados a aplicar. La ciudadanía estadounidense no es un requisito. No Más Muertes es una empresa que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades. ¡Gracias por tu interés en este puesto!

TODO ESTO SE REALIZA EN CONJUNTO CON EL RESTO DE LOS OPERADORES Y VOLUNTARIOS

EMERGENCY REPORTS OPERATOR

Application Deadline: 02/15/2024

Start Date: 04/01/2024

Apply Here:  https://form.jotform.com/233065732269156

At No More Deaths we are seeking an Emergency Report Operator to join the Missing Persons Hotline Team who will work alongside the Crisis Hotline Operator, and will be responsible for contacting Border Patrol agents to request that searches for missing persons be initiated. In this team, they will collaborate with No More Deaths partners and other community groups on both sides of the border to respond to requests from family members searching for their missing loved ones and will provide humanitarian, civil and non-violent assistance for the missing persons crisis in the border areas.

About No More Deaths

We are a humanitarian organization based in southern Arizona. Our mission is to end migrant death and suffering through civil initiative and we work openly as a community to defend fundamental human rights.

About Team Projects and Events

Projects arise depending on the political climate at the border and the Hotline Team works as a group to divide responsibilities for projects that emerge based on the respective availability of resources.

In the event of an increase in the number of calls, team projects may be put on hold. Out-of-state events are subject to the capacity, ability and availability of each individual and will be communicated in advance. Some responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining a flexible schedule in order to be prepared and available to participate in community projects and team events local to Tucson.
  • Accompanying and supporting the community to their immigration court appointments depending on the capacity of the group.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

Work will be performed from our Tucson office and remotely. Your duties will include:

  • Utilizing information and coordinates transmitted by the Hotline Operator to determine appropriate border patrol stations and make emergency reports.
  • Remaining calm, composed, undistracted, and in full control of cognitive abilities while maintaining adequate performance in stressful situations
  • Making calls to Border Patrol for emergency or active cases, and making emergency reports to Border Patrol and requesting searches for missing persons
  • Following up and maintaining communication every two hours with Border Patrol via phone and email
  • Maintaining communication with the Hotline Operator every two hours relaying information received from Border Patrol and updating them until the case is closed
  • Collecting and documenting appropriate information during all interactions and filing notes, recordings, logs, etc., as needed
  • Participating regularly and actively in group meetings by providing feedback on completed projects and projects in the planning stages
  • Attending training courses offered by the team to promote better job performance, or as needed, in order to stay informed on current operations, projects, and changes in the political climate
  • Collaborating with the team on various projects, as required or requested, periodically engaging with the community on humanitarian projects as needed
  • Maintaining consistent communication with the team, as well as the Line Operator, responding to messages via Signal and WhatsApp in a prompt and effective manner

REQUIREMENTS

  • Bilingual in English and Spanish
  • Residency local to Tucson
  • Ability to communicate comfortably and effectively with Border Patrol agents
  • Ability to handle high-stress situations and manage intense conversations
  • Ability to maintain composure and exercise restraint when verbally provocative, hostile or stressful interactions arise
  • Ability to work as a team player within the Crisis Hotline
  • Respectful communication with co-workers

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience using Signal and Whatsapp
  • Basic computer proficiency
  • Multitasking ability

CONTRACT CONDITIONS

  • 12-month contract with annual renewal option after qualitative assessment at three and six months. Includes a two-week training period and a 90-day paid observation period
  • 30 hours per week
  • Hotline Active Hours: 5am-9:30pm with 4-5 hour shifts per day. Monday-Friday and closed weekends.
  • Monthly salary of $20 per hour
  • Work material to be provided includes phone, laptop and hotspot

Our Package Includes

  • Hybrid model with 50% work from home
  • Flexible PTO and Winter Vacation
  • Medical and dental coverage

No More Deaths values diversity and strongly encourages people of color, people with disabilities, women and LGBTQ+ applicants to apply. Individuals with personal ties to the border or who identify as coming from an affected community are especially encouraged to apply. U.S. citizenship is not a requirement. No More Deaths is an equal opportunity employer – thank you for your interest in this position!

THIS IS ALL DONE IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE REST OF THE OPERATORS AND VOLUNTEERS.

Border Patrol Neglects Asylum Seekers in Winter Storm, Threatens Aid Workers with Arrest

The road along the border wall near Sasabe

SASABE, Arizona – Last night, humanitarian aid workers scrambled to triage and support 300 asylum seekers stranded along the border wall east of Sasabe, Arizona. A winter storm blew in, dumping rain upon the hundreds of men, women, children, and babies left without adequate shelter in the remote location. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, volunteers notified Border Patrol that they would be driving asylum seekers to the Sasabe substation to be processed, to get them out of the life-threatening cold.

Volunteers were told that this was illegal. Meanwhile, Border Patrol agents refused to send personnel to the area, citing road conditions and limited space in vehicles as the reason for their lack of response. They advised volunteers to call 911 if there was a medical emergency.

The message from Border Patrol was loud and clear: you’re on your own.

Despite the constraints of providing humanitarian aid in a place where cell phone service is limited and the nearest ambulance is two hours away, humanitarian aid volunteers did place multiple calls to 911. Through the rainy day and the frigid night, no emergency services arrived.   “Without us volunteers everybody would have died. Everybody would have died,” one volunteer responding to the situation said. “With no tarps, no rain gear, no food, and no water, 300 adults, elders, and children could have died from exposure. We were a group of 8-15 volunteers triaging 300 people, trying to prevent hundreds of deaths. We cannot keep this up. We are not meant for this. We need bigger resources and responses.”  

There are still hundreds of people stranded along the wall, waiting to be picked up by Border Patrol.

NEW REPORT: “Separate and Deadly” Reveals Discriminatory 911 Call System in US/Mexico Borderlands

TUCSON, Arizona – On November 14th, No More Deaths released Separate and Deadly: Segregation of 911 Emergency Services in the Arizona Borderlands. The report is the latest installment of Disappeared, a four-part series that examines Border Patrol’s role in the crisis of mass death and disappearance in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

Separate and Deadly analyzes the Pima County Sheriff’s Department’s emergency response system and the segregation of 911 calls in the border region. The findings of the report shed light on a discriminatory system in which vastly different responses are allocated to callers based on their perceived citizenship status. For people migrating through the region, their distress calls to 911 are customarily transferred to Border Patrol – an agency that has already demonstrated a deadly negligence when it comes to emergency response and rescue.

From the report:

“In March 2018, a man contacted 911 eleven times over the course of ten hours. He was lost and alone. As the hours passed, his condition clearly deteriorated, and his voice began to fade. It appeared that Border Patrol was not actively searching for him… Pima County dispatchers continued to transfer his call to Border Patrol every time he called… The county’s own Search and Rescue team was never notified, and the county never activated a search for him. Eventually the man stopped calling. The outcome of his case is unknown.”

The No More Deaths team reviewed thousands of 911 calls and took testimony from humanitarian aid volunteers, in addition to other relevant data sources. In 99% of the calls where the caller was presumed to be undocumented, no intake or assessment was conducted, in 68% of the calls the dispatcher lacked fluency in Spanish to be able to communicate effectively and 50% of the callers were given no notice before being transferred to Border Patrol. 

“Not only is call segregation based on presumed immigration status unlawful, the consequences of such practices are deadly,” says Parker Deighan, one of the report’s contributors. “The findings of this report raise serious questions about the county’s complicity in the ongoing crisis of death and disappearance.”

In 2023 alone, the remains of 175 people have been found in Arizona. Countless more remain disappeared.

MIGRANTS IN SASABE STUCK IN FREEZING TEMPS OVERNIGHT, INCLUDING FAMILIES

Danyelle Khmara, AZPM News, 13 February 2024

People began crossing the border Friday, in a remote area east of Sasabe, including many families with children.

Aid volunteer Bryce Peterson says Border Patrol only picked up a limited number of people, so aid groups began bringing migrants to the Border Patrol station in Sasabe.

“Throughout the course of the night another 200 people had showed up,” Peterson said. “So we were dealing with about 400 people who were all freezing cold, wet from being snowed and rained on. All the people that had been walking throughout the night were in really bad shape.”

Migrants have been crossing in that remote area for months, and aid groups are asking Border Patrol to set up a warming station and processing center in the remote area and increase processing capacity at the station in Sasabe.

Seemingly at odds with the aid workers’ account, Customs and Border Protection says they prioritized the humanitarian response to the migrants abandoned in the cold, triaged the situation and prioritized the most vulnerable migrants for transportation.

By Sunday morning, all the migrants had been taken into Border Patrol custody. There were no serious medical emergencies or deaths reported.

BORDER PATROL LEAVES HUNDRED OF ASYLUM SEEKERS STRANDED IN THE COLD, DETAINS AND THREATENS AID WORKERS ATTEMPTING TO RESPOND

Approximately 400 asylum seekers waited along the border wall near Sasabe, Arizona yesterday, in hopes of being picked up by Border Patrol. 

Border Patrol never came. During the night, snow and freezing temperatures set in. By this morning, a few inches of snow had accumulated and humanitarian aid volunteers found hundreds of people still stranded along the wall with no sign of a Border Patrol response. 

Volunteers with No More Deaths, Tucson Samaritans, and Green Valley Samaritans began evacuating people to the Border Patrol Station in Sasabe. Many volunteers were detained and threatened with arrest by Border Patrol agents who said that they were informed of the situation but did not plan to drive out to address it. As the snow melted and road conditions turned muddy, volunteer vehicles continued to evacuate people despite threats of arrest in anticipation of more dangerously cold conditions tonight.

Now, Border Patrol is refusing to allow more people into the station to be processed. At the time of writing, there are over 250 adults and children left exposed to the elements outside of the Sasabe station. Despite persisting for over three months, Border Patrol has failed to adequately allocate resources to address this ongoing crisis.
People cannot be left out in such life-threatening conditions. A response must be enacted now to establish adequate shelters, warming centers, and other basic necessities for those who seek safety and asylum in Sasabe.

SOME LAWMAKERS WANT A CLAMPDOWN ON ASYLUM. AZ OFFICIALS AND AID WORKERS ALREADY FACE CHALLENGES

Alisa Reznick, KJZZ Fronteras Desk, 23 January 2024

Washington narrowly avoided a government shutdown this month. But lawmakers are still mulling a potential deal that would green-light military aid for Ukraine in exchange for crackdowns on asylum at the border. In the meantime, along remote stretches of the Arizona border, officials say that system is overwhelmed.

Nestled into the heart of the rugged Altar Valley a little more than an hour south of Tucson, Sasabe is a tiny border community encircled by wild desert grasslands and steep mountain ranges.

It’s home to a bright yellow country store, an elementary school, and a tiny border crossing that leads to Sasabe, Sonora. Only a few dozen people live here on the Arizona side. 

But it’s been at the epicenter of a lot of different border eras over the years.

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COOLER TEMPERATURES BRING CONCERN FOR MIGRANTS WAITING TO BE PROCESSED NEAR LUKEVILLE BORDER

Emilee Miranda, 13 News, 4 January 2024

As temperatures continue to drop in Tucson, they are also declining in Lukeville as hundreds of asylum seekers wait along the wall to be processed by border patrol.

For months, thousands of migrants have been arriving in the Tucson sector. Many of them are sleeping and staying near the border wall until they can be transported elsewhere by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. As the migrant surge continues, the fundraising coordinator for No More Deaths said they are concerned about the cooler temperatures.

“Lows are getting down into the low 30s coming up, and we’re seeing so many people who are in great danger of injury and death from exposure, so anything helps,” said Danielle, fundraising coordinator for No More Deaths.

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NO MORE DEATHS VOLUNTEERS EVACUATE MIGRANTS FROM ‘DIRE’ COLD AS CHRISTMAS NEARS IN REMOTE AZ DESERT

Paul Ingram, Tucson Sentinel, 24 December 2023

In the desert quiet, a little girl began to howl and cry. Her mother tried to comfort her, but they were both freezing, soaked to the bone in wet clothes and tucked beneath wide advertising banners tucked against the 30-foot-high wall miles in the desert wilderness east of Sasabe, Ariz.

All Friday—just days before Christmas— rain came down unabated and for a while lightning cracked across the sky. But, finally, the rain slowed to a drizzle and the moon pierced through clouds. As the girl cried, a volunteer with No More Deaths, a humanitarian organization based in Southern Arizona, rushed from trucks parked in the mud to help.

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