Federal prosecutors announced Tuesday they intend to retry the case of a border activist who offered food and medical assistance to migrants suspected of illegally entering the country after his first trial ended in a hung jury in June.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona will retry Scott Warren, a volunteer with the activist group No More Deaths, on Nov. 12 on two federal harboring charges. They also said they would dismiss one count of conspiracy to transport or shield from the previous trial.
Warren faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on both counts.
“Today the government decided to retry its case against me. We are ready for this second trial and more prepared than ever. However, I as well as most of you, remain unclear what the point of all this effort, time, and money has been,” Warren said in a statement.
“While I do not know what the government has hoped to accomplish here I do know what the effect of all this has been. A raising of public consciousness. A greater awareness of the humanitarian crisis in the borderland. More volunteers who want to stand in solidarity with migrants. Local residents stiffened in their resistance to border walls and the militarization of our communities. And a flood of water into the desert at a time when it is most needed.”
Warren has said he said was providing food, water and lodging to migrants who were in medical distress, but prosecutors maintained that the migrants he helped were not in distress and were seeking to evade U.S. authorities.
Fourteen Democratic senators sent the Justice Department a letter last month urging it to stop bringing charges against activists at the border, saying the practice is “a stunningly poor use of resources, and may be a de facto death sentence for desperate migrants navigating and unforgiving terrain.”