11.04.2005

E.J. Montini on Strauss, Seliz

The Arizona Republic columnist praises No More Deaths volunteers: "Unless the charges against them are dropped, Daniel Strauss and Shanti Seliz, who are in their 20s, could spend up to 15 years in prison for the crime of showing compassion in the face of human suffering.

This is nothing new. There is a long list of individuals who have paid with their freedom and even their lives for the sometimes unforgivable offense of benevolence. All that changes over the generations are the legal technicalities. In this instance, Strauss and Seliz were indicted in August in Tucson's federal courthouse on one count each of conspiracy to transport an undocumented immigrant and transporting an undocumented immigrant.

"What they were doing, in fact, was transporting sick people for medical care on the advice of both a doctor and a lawyer," says Margo Cowan, a lawyer who works with the young people in a volunteer organization called No More Deaths."