File - In this Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, file aerial image released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, migrants, apprehended after illegally crossing along the U.S.-Mexico border near Lukeville, Ariz., are lined up. Mexico is at the top of the image, beyond the border fence. A border activist charged with helping a pair of migrants with water, food and lodging is set to go on trial in U.S. court in Arizona. Defendant Scott Daniel Warren has argued that his spiritual values compel him to help all people in distress. The trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in Tucson, with the 36-year-old Warren charged with harboring migrants and conspiring to transport and harbor two Mexican men found with him who were in the U.S. illegally. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP, File)

Trial begins for border activist who helped migrants

May 29, 2019 - 5:44 pm

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Jury selection has begun in the federal trial of a border activist charged with harboring migrants in a case that advocates say is politically motivated.

Defendant Scott Daniel Warren was arrested in 2018 when Border Patrol agents reported finding him at a property used to provide aid to immigrants in Ajo, Arizona.

Warren was helping two immigrants who had crossed the border illegally.

Prosecutors have argued that migrants Kristian Perez-Villanueva and Jose Arnaldo Sacaria-Goday were never in any real distress.

Warren says the administration of President Donald Trump has cracked down on humanitarian aid groups.

He says the administration has refused to allow the groups on federal land and has prosecuted volunteers, including several others with the group Warren works with. It is called No More Deaths.

The trial began Wednesday.

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