No More Deaths is a humanitarian organization based in southern Arizona. They began in 2004 in the form of a coalition of community and faith groups, dedicated to stepping up efforts to stop the deaths of migrants in the desert and to achieving the enactment of a set of Faith-Based Principles for Immigration Reform. They later developed into an autonomous project. Since 2008 they have been an official ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson.
Using a variety of means to save lives, including water drops at pre-determined locations, search and rescue efforts, and medical aid, No More Deaths goes to extreme lengths to prevent migrants, predominantly Mexicans and Central Americans, from perishing in one of the most hostile natural environments in the world: the Sonora Desert. Many cross, having exhausted all other options in their home countries, or are fleeing for their very lives. The policy of deterrence first enacted under the Clinton administration in the early 1990's has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of migrants since, underestimating their severe need and unrelenting circumstances.
In this series, I examine the ways in which an organization is optimized to serve migrant communities and provide valuable aid to vulnerable populations. No migrants are featured in the series to protect their lives and wellbeing. Instead, the series is focused on the spaces that migrants inhabit, including No More Deaths facilities, as well as the desert itself. Preventing these deaths, and having greater compassion for the circumstances of migrants goes beyond showing the human suffering. I hope to share a message of hope. There are people out there putting their lives at risk to help strangers they have never met on a daily basis. I hope this contextualizes those efforts, while bringing a nuanced texture to a forgotten conflict that has been raging for over 20 years at the southern border of the United States.