Leaving Water in the Desert So Immigrants Don't Die Is Now Legal

No More Deaths, an aid organization that tries to prevent border-crossers from dying in the desert, as they do in droves, is celebrating a Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that leaving water bottles in the desert isn't littering.

Yes, the court overturned the littering conviction of a volunteer who left bottles of water out in the Arizona desert, intended for illegal immigrants making the dangerous passage. The volunteer had been arrested, charged, and convicted for leaving garbage in a national wildlife refuge. The 9th ruled, 2-1, that leaving water meant for human consumption does not constitute littering. Arrests of volunteers for organizations like No More Deaths began under the Bush Administration.

So, a small victory. You know, a very small allowance for people to go leave small amounts of water out in a vast desert in the hopes that a few people don't die of thirst. It was that vs. environmental purity, a cause very dear to the hearts of many anti-immigration conservatives.

This is the second win for humanitarian organizations, says the San Francisco Chronicle:

In the earlier case, said attorney William Walker, a judge dismissed felony charges of transporting illegal immigrants several years ago against two volunteers who found three seriously ill immigrants in the desert and drove them to a medical clinic.

Yes. Someone tried to press felony charges for that. For that.

If you want a real treat, read the comments on the Chronicle article. Happy Labor Day.

[SFGate, via DogsOfWar. Image: Shutterstock]