Alternative Migrant Trail 2020: Day 5

Thursday, May 28, 2020:

Daily Reflection

Featured podcast: Bearing Witness in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands with Conservationist Laiken Jordahl

Webinar Featured Speaker: Dan Millis, Sierra Club Borderlands Program

Talk title: “The Environmental Implications of Border Militarization”

Speaker bio: Born and raised in Arizona, Dan has worked on border and immigration issues on occupied native lands in Arizona since 2003. 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.  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 a 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, but in the meantime was hired to his current position, making him the first convicted litterer ever hired by 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. 

Border militarization and wall construction are causing widespread destruction in the México-U.S. borderlands, Indigenous lands that host vibrant communities and many of the region’s most precious water resources. More than 650 miles of barriers and walls have already been built without regard for dozens of laws that protect land, air, water, historic and cultural sites and religious freedom. Instead of addressing issues at the root of human migration, today’s administration and the U.S. Congress are doubling down on nearly three decades of failed border policy: more walls, agents, and sweetheart deals for security contractors and wall-builders. 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.

Sierra Club Borderlands is working to protect and restore communities, wildlife and landscapes along the México-U.S. border, and to stop walls and militarization. More information is available at, on social media following @SC_Borderlands, or by emailing