No More Deaths is a humanitarian organization based in southern Arizona whose mission is to end death and suffering in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. No More Deaths operates on the premise of civil initiative: the conviction that people of conscience must work openly and in community to uphold fundamental human rights. No More Deaths endorses the Faith-Based Principles for Immigration Reform and practices the following methods of intervention:
• Direct aid that extends the right to provide humanitarian assistance
• Witnessing and responding
• Consciousness raising
• Global movement building
• Encouraging humane immigration policy
No More Deaths was founded in 2004 as a coalition of existing organizations with the objective of expanding upon ongoing humanitarian efforts by aggressively asserting and extending the right to provide humanitarian aid in the Arizona borderlands. Although organizations like Humane Borders and the Samaritans were well-established and had been providing aid in the borderlands for years, the number of migrant deaths occurring in southern Arizona continued to rise. Perceiving the need for an expanded humanitarian presence on the border, a group of community and faith leaders assembled a coalition under the banner of No More Deaths and presented its model of operation and principles for immigration reform at the Multi-Faith Border Conference in March of 2004. Throughout the summer of 2004, No More Deaths maintained volunteer-staffed desert camps called “Arks of the Covenant” in order to ensure a permanent humanitarian presence during the hottest, most dangerous months of the year.
In July 2005, two No More Deaths volunteers were arrested by Border Patrol while evacuating three medically compromised individuals from the desert to a hospital in Tucson and were later indicted on felony charges of conspiracy and aiding and abetting. In response, No More Deaths launched a support campaign called “Humanitarian Aid is Never a Crime,” prompting an overwhelming international response and eventually resulting in the dismissal of the charges against volunteers Shanti Shellz and Daniel Strauss. Following the arrests, the coalition that had originally formed No More Deaths began to dissolve and No More Deaths separated as an independent organization, eventually becoming a ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson in 2008.
In 2006, No More Deaths began to provide humanitarian aid to recently deported individuals in Mexico, collaborating with organizations in Sonora to establish and staff a migrant aid station in Nogales and eventually broadening partnerships to support humanitarian work in Naco and Agua Prieta, Sonora, as well. It was during the course of this work that volunteers first began to document reports of abuse and mistreatment of detainees in Border Patrol custody, culminating in the publication of Crossing the Line in 2008 and A Culture of Cruelty in 2011. Following the passage of Arizona’s SB 1070 in 2010, No More Deaths collaborated with Tierra Y Libertad Organization to launch the We Reject Racism campaign with the goals of increasing visible resistance to the law and building a network of people committed to non-compliance. Today, No More Deaths continues to pursue new points of intervention to act in solidarity with those targeted by racism and state violence while carrying on the important work of providing humanitarian aid and defending human rights on both sides of the border.
No More Deaths maintains a humanitarian presence near Arivaca, Arizona, providing water, food and medical aid to all those targeted by border enforcement and other forms of state violence in the southern Arizona borderlands.
Learn more about desert aid.
Since 2006, No More Deaths has partnered with other organizations in Sonora, Mexico to provide aid in the form of food, clothing, medical treatment, phone calls and property recovery to individuals recently deported from the U.S. Today, this work is focused in the cities of Nogales and Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico where U.S. authorities deport hundreds of thousands of people every year.
Learn more about Mexico projects.
During the course of working with deportees in northern Sonora, No More Deaths began documenting reports of abuse at the hands of Border Patrol. To date, No More Deaths has published two reports containing over 30,000 documented instances of abuse, pressuring U.S. authorities to take responsibility for correcting Border Patrol's systemic and brutal violations of human rights.
Learn more about abuse documentation.
Launched in 2010 as a strategic collaboration between No More Deaths and Tierra y Libertad Organization, We Reject Racism began by organizing to build a network of people committed to anti-racism and resistance to anti-immigrant legislation like SB 1070. Today, We Reject Racism continues to work to address the pervasive climate of racism and criminalization in Tucson.
Learn more about We Reject Racism.
No More Deaths is an entirely volunteer-run organization, relying upon the contributions of individuals and organizations across the country to sustain our work and advance our goals. We invite anyone who shares in our mission and vision to join us as a volunteer here in Arizona.
For more information on volunteering, visit nomoredeaths.org.
If you have questions about volunteering or need any additional information not available online, please email our volunteer coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.