Dan Millis and Josseline
Dan Millis (above on the border wall) works to save the lives of migrants making desperate journeys through the Sonoran Desert.
Dan Millis, born and raised in Arizona, has a daily connection to some of the cruelest realities of our border policy. While hiking along a canyon just north of the Arizona/Mexico border with a group of volunteers, Dan stumbled across the corpse of a girl. At only 14, the Salvadoran girl Josseline was the youngest of the 183 recovered bodies along the Arizona border in 2008.
Over 5,000 migrants have died along the U.S. border since the mid 1990s, when border walls and increased enforcement began to funnel them into remote and dangerous terrain. His experiences in the borderlands have led him to divide his working life between the human and environmental costs of bad border policy. He works for the Sierra Club and No More Deaths, a border humanitarian aid group.
A child found dead in the desert by Dan Millis is memorialized above.Not long after finding Josseline in the desert, Dan was distributing water jugs along migrant trails near the border. He was stopped by federal authorities and issued a citation. The ticket was written for "littering," despite the boxes full of trash that he and a group of No More Deaths volunteers had been cleaning up from the area. Dan refused to pay the ticket, and was later convicted in federal court.
Harassment and prosecution of humanitarian volunteers continues along the southwest border, including another "littering" conviction issued against No More Deaths volunteer Walt Staton. He faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $10,000 fine.