On Thursday, US Border Patrol agents served a search warrant at a camp in the southern Arizona desert, which was suspected of aiding illegal immigrants to enter the US illegally.  Four Mexican men have been arrested.

The camp, which is a non-profit aid camp operation by No Mas Muertes (No More Deaths), is about 11 miles north of the US/Mexico border and offers medical care to illegals crossing the desert.  It has been functioning since 2004.

"The raid on the medical aid camp is unacceptable and a break in our good faith agreements w BP to respect the critical work of ," tweeted the organization.

According to No More Deaths, "Approximately 30 armed agents entered camp w at least 15 trucks, 2 quads and helicopter to apprehend four patients receiving care," on Thursday.

"The choice to interdict people only after they entered the camp is evidence that this was a direct attack on humanitarian aid," the organization added.

The organization issues a press release via Facebook, which read in part:

Agents from the Border Patrol began surveilling the No More Deaths camp on Tuesday, June 13th at around 4:30 PM. Agents in vehicles, on foot and ATVs surrounded the aid facility and set up a temporary checkpoint at the property-line to search and interrogate those leaving about their citizenship status. The heavy presence of law enforcement has deterred people from accessing critical humanitarian assistance in this period of hot and deadly weather. These events also follow a pattern of increasing surveillance of humanitarian aid over the past few months under the Trump administration.

This afternoon, in an unprecedented show of force, approximately 30 armed agents raided the camp with at least 15 trucks, 2 quads and a helicopter to apprehend four patients receiving medical care.

For the past 13 years, No More Deaths has provided food, water, and medical care for people crossing the Sonoran desert on foot. The ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by border enforcement policy has claimed the lives of over 7000 people since 1998. Human remains are found on average once every three days in the desert of Southern Arizona.

Kate Morgan, Abuse Documentation & Advocacy Coordinator for the organization said, "No More Deaths has documented the deaths and disappearances of hundreds of migrants in the Arivaca corridor of the border. Today's raid on the medical aid station is unacceptable and a break in our good faith agreements with Border Patrol to respect the critical work of No More Deaths".

John Fife, one of the founders of No More Deaths, commented that, "Since 2013 the Tucson sector of the Border Patrol has had a written agreement with No More Deaths (NMD) that they will respect the NMD camp as a medical facility under the international Red Cross standards, which prohibit government interference with humanitarian aid centers. That agreement now has been violated by the Border Patrol under the most suspicious circumstances. The Border Patrol acknowledged that they tracked a group for 18 miles, but only after the migrants sought medical treatment did the Border Patrol seek to arrest them. The choice to interdict these people only after they entered the No More Deaths camp is direct evidence that this was a direct attack on humanitarian aid. At the same time, the weather forcast is for record setting deadly temperatures".

People crossing the deadly and remote regions of the US Mexico border often avoid seeking urgent medical care for fear of deportation and incarceration. For this reason, a humanitarian focused aid station in the desert is an essential tool for preserving life. The targeting of this critical medical aid is a shameful reflection of the current administration's disregard for the lives of migrants and refugees, making an already dangerous journey even more deadly.

In spite of this, No More Deaths remains committed to our mission to end death and suffering in the desert and will continue to provide humanitarian aid, as we have for the past 13 years.

The Border Patrol stated, "Tucson Sector Border Patrol reached out to No Mas Muertes Camp representatives to continue a positive working relationship and resolve the situation amicably.  The talks, however, were unsuccessful."

"As a result, the Border Patrol was compelled to seek a search warrant to question the four suspected illegal aliens as to their citizenship and legal right to be present in the United States," the Border Patrol added.  "Subsequent to serving the warrant and conducting a search of the camp, four illegally present Mexican nationals were arrested for immigration violations."

The USBP also recounted a similar incident that occurred in May that involved eight illegals that ended with successful negotiations and the surrender of those individuals to Border Patrol agents.  Two of those had prior criminal records in the US and two required additional medical care at a local hospital.

The Border Patrol also tweeted out the risks involved in crossing the desert.  "Arizona’s desert shows no mercy for those unprepared for its remote, harsh terrain and unpredictable weather."

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