TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - On Monday, Oct. 5, U.S. Border Patrol agents entered a humanitarian aid station- where human rights volunteers were held for 3 hours and 12 people receiving food, medical treatment and refuge from high temperaturs were detained.
According to No More Deaths, CBP agents refused to show a warrant upon entry to Byrd Camp. Border Patrol and its tactical unit decended on the camp in Arivaca, AZ., with an armored tank, ATVS, a helicopter and multiple marked and unmarked vehicles.
“Agents armed with assault rifles chased and terrorized those that were receiving care, all while the helicopter hovered low above them kicking up dust and debris, making it nearly impossible to see,” said the organization. “Border patrol smashed windows, broke doors, and destroyed essential camp infrastructure as well as supplies.”
The organization says the raid was conducted after CBP carefully surveilled and patrolled the Byrd Camp perimeter “creating an antogonistic and distressing environment for those receiving care, since late Saturday night on the 3rd”.
Since 2004, Byrd Camps has been a location where traveling migrants crossing the desert have found assistance and shelter- and it has operated transparently and offered humanitarian aid according to Red Cross protocols.
Back in July, CBP had conducted another raid at Byrd Camp. Since then, No More Deaths says Border Patrol has refused to meet with volunteers on multiple ocassions to discuss previous agreements on providing humanitarian aid to immigrants.
“Once again, Border Patrol is concentrating their resources on interfering with humanitarian aid during the most deadly time of year for people crossing the border," said Paige Coroch Kleim, a volunteer. "People are dying in the desert because of border enforcement policy, and now Border Patrol wants to prevent people from accessing life-saving assistance. We view this as a clear violation of international humanitarian law.”