Immigration enforcement along the Southwest border between the United States and Mexico has long channeled immigrants into perilous desert corridors, where many thousands have dies, out of the public view. In response to this humanitarian crisis, activists from organizations such as No More Deaths (NMD) trek deep into the treacherous desert, hoping to save lives, honor the remains of those who did not survive, and influence public opinion about border enforcement policies. NMD's activism is not merely utilitarian but also deeply expressive; ultimately, they hope to convey the message that all lives -- including those of unauthorized migrants-- are worth saving. The Trump Administration has escalated repressive tactics intended to silence these forms of border-policy dissent. Some federal land managers now blacklist NMD, preemptively denying requests for access permits. Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney's office has aggressively prosecuted members for humanitarian activities. This chapter explains the expressive components of humanitarian activism in this context and of the government's attempts to suppress it, suggesting the need for constitutional scrutiny and legal change.
Jason A. Cade,
All the Border's a Stage: Humanitarian Aid as Expressive Dissent
, 84 L. Pol. & Soc'y 109
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/fac_artchop/1369