Today on 30 Minutes, our multipart series continues with excerpts from Dan Millis’s presentation The Environmental Implications of Border Militarization. Dan is the Borderlands Program Manager for Arizona’s Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club, working to protect and restore border landscapes, wildlife, and communities that have been impacted by militarization.
Born and raised in Arizona, Dan has worked on border and immigration issues on occupied native lands in Arizona since 2003. In 2005, he began his humanitarian work as a desert aid volunteer for No More Deaths. In 2008, Dan was with a group from No More Deaths that discovered the body of 14-year-old Josseline Quinteros, a girl from El Salvador who had died during the crossing. Days later, federal law enforcement officials issued Dan a Class B Misdemeanor citation for “littering” for leaving drinking water on migrant trails. Dan was convicted and appealed, and in the meantime was hired to his current position, with the Sierra Club. Dan lost his appeal and appealed again, this time winning, erasing his prior conviction and helping reinforce the precedent that Humanitarian Aid is Never a Crime.
Dan will discuss his work with the Sierra Club to fight for better border policies and the protection of our communities, natural areas, and wildlife.
Since 2004, a group of committed people has coordinated an annual week-long, 75-mile walk from Sásabe, Sonora, Mexico to Tucson, Arizona to call for an end to migrant deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border and to stand in solidarity with victims of global migration. In May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants were unable to physically unite to remember those who have died crossing
In order to continue to raise awareness about migrant deaths and to help raise money for local border justice organizations, organizers launched an alternative Migrant Trail Walk experience to bring people together in a virtual environment. Proceeds benefitted: BorderLinks, the O’Odham Anti-Border Collective, Keep Tucson Together, and the No More Deaths Emergency COVID-19 Bond Fund. The Migrant Trail 2020 Alternative experience included a week of daily reflections, videos, podcasts, and featured speakers.
Edited and produced by Amanda Shauger with audio provided by the Migrant Trail Organizing Committee.