Write an Op-Ed or Letter to the Editor

Help No More Deaths spread the word about the prosecution of Dr. Scott Warren! Retrial begins November 12th in Tucson, Arizona.

We invite our allies and supporters to talk about why this case is important to them and build connections nationwide. For a detailed summary of last trial, see this article or our daily trial updates from June.

Below are a few topic ideas and tools for writing a letter to the editor in your local paper or pitching an op-ed at a larger outlet. Please see the Op-Ed Project Tips and Tricks for more!

Wider Topics to Focus On:

  • Additional cases being heard November 12th by the Supreme Court: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Hernandez v. Mesa about the cross border killing of Sergio Hernandez
  • The need for humanitarian aid: the crisis of death and disappearance in the borderlands – over 3000 people’s bodies have been found since 2001 and this only a fraction of the number of people who have lost their lives.
  • What Scott did is provide basic human kindness, values we teach in Sunday school.
  • Targeting of migrant justice activists by the Trump Administration, especially undocumented organizers being targeted by ICE.
  • Increased militarization of the borderlands, building of the wall. See More Than a Wall Report for information on corporate profiteering and border infrastructure.
  • Implications for the rest of the country – if Scott is found guilty, how will that affect mixed-status families? Who will be criminalized for solidarity next?
  • #DefundHate campaign – appropriations process is coming up, ICE and CBP will be requesting more funding. The arrest of Scott was connected to No More Deaths’s Disappeared Report about widespread Border Patrol violence, more funding is not a solution.

Things to avoid:

  • Avoid exceptionalizing Scott! He is just one of many border residents who have decided to offer humanitarian aid. His targeting as a person of privilege represents an escalation on the part of the government, however those facing the brunt of the government’s violence continue to be black, brown and indigenous communities as well as mixed-status communities. Part of our goal in asking others to give their opinions is to build connections with wider struggles.
  • Avoid characterizing migrants as helpless, passive, victims: while perhaps well-intentioned this language is dehumanizing.
  • Avoid language of “good” migrant vs “criminal” migrant. No More Deaths stance is that nobody deserves to die in the desert.


  • See: tips on pitching:
  • Timing is everything! Outlets want something to be featured around a “news hook.” Examples of news hooks can be something that has been in headlines recently or is coming up; it can also be creative, including anniversaries, or recent reports or data that may not have received much coverage.
  • Be sure to check the word count for the outlet you are submitting to and comply with it! Different outlets vary in the word counts but most op-ed are around 800 words or less.

  • Retrial November 12th offers a good opportunity, if there are other local events or elections, that can be a good moment to submit content.

Examples here:


I gave water to migrants crossing the Arizona desert. They charged me with a felony. By Scott Warren

The Desert Should not be Death Sentence. By Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

Aiding migrants can get you 20 years in Donald Trump’s America by Laurie Roberts

Letters to the editor:

Letter: We should not be prosecuting people for showing compassion. By Kent Matthies

Here is a list of Submission Information, see your local paper for what they accept as well. We are going for wide reach, no paper is too small! This case affects us all and we want to make sure we build connections and resist the criminalization of basic human decency.

For more information, support or questions, or if you get published, please contact: