We Dominican Sisters support No More Deaths, particularly in their mission to provide humanitarian aid to migrants in the southwest borderlands. Four of their volunteers were recently convicted on what amount to federal “littering” charges and even more volunteers still face trial. We are signing onto their statement, rather than creating our own, in the hopes that their outreach will garner the support needed for many to hear our voices. If you would like to follow this case, daily updates are posted on their site.

If you believe that people deserve to receive food, water and medical care regardless of their documentation status, please join us in signing onto this statement. The full statement is:

We declare our steadfast support for non-governmental organizations providing humanitarian aid to migrants and refugees in the U.S. borderlands and globally. We decry the criminal prosecutions of volunteer aid workers by governments everywhere.

The Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross, Red Crescent Movement and NGO’s in Disaster Relief states that “the right to receive humanitarian assistance, and to offer it, is a fundamental humanitarian principle which should be enjoyed by all citizens of all countries….Governments should recognize and respect the independent humanitarian and impartial actions of non-governmental humanitarian agencies.”

As people of conscience, we too would offer water to a person dying of thirst, or put water in a desert where thousands are known to have lost their lives. We stand in solidarity with No More Deaths and with all those impacted by border militarization and the criminalization of migration. Humanitarian aid is never a crime!