Humane Borders Driver and Passenger Protocols

We deeply appreciate and value the service of Humane Borders volunteers, without which we could not do our work. The people who drive and ride in Humane Borders vehicles are the face of the organization as they interact with the public, with government personnel, and sometimes with representatives of the media. Our work is controversial, and so it’s important that we be good citizens, whose civility and kindness toward others place us above the fray.

Humane Borders volunteers unfailingly should treat others with respect, whether they be other volunteers or persons encountered during water runs, including migrants, law enforcement officers, or people who are rude or verbally abusive.

  • By volunteering with Humane Borders, you affirm that you are in agreement with our humanitarian mission. We always welcome suggestions on how to better fulfill that mission. But we ask that you direct criticisms constructively to our Executive Director or Board Chair, rather than resorting to destructive gossip.
  • It should be obvious that our volunteers must be law-abiding. Among other things, this means that drivers and passengers must refrain from the possession or use of illegal drugs, or anything else that might compromise our work. Volunteers must follow immigration laws even if they disagree with them. Volunteers should understand that some things that are legal in most contexts -- such as fruits, vegetables, and even prescription drugs -- violate customs regulations and cannot be possessed while crossing the border.
  • In the spirit of nonviolence and reconciliation, and for the safety of others, we do not permit volunteers to carry firearms or other weapons. We also require that volunteers refrain from smoking or vaping in our vehicles.
  • In order to do our work, Humane Borders relies on the good will of the owners and managers of lands on which we have placed water stations. Our permits, which contain specific requirements that we all must follow, are in a notebook in the center console of each truck. Volunteers should read and understand our permits, so that we do not alienate our hosts or cause them to revoke their permission to allow water stations on their property.
  • We ask that volunteers follow scheduling and operation direction from the Operations Manager. Please do not cross another person’s name off the driver and passenger schedule without an OK from one of them.
  • Drivers must keep a valid driver’s license on their person and give a copy of to Humane Borders staff. Drivers should have the physical and emotional ability to be able to handle our sometimes challenging vehicles safely. If you have a condition or disability that makes this impossible or unreasonably difficult, please remember that we will still need you and welcome you as a passenger.
  • If a media person contacts you for an interview or in connection with a story he or she may be doing, please let the Executive Director or Board Chair know about this right away. They have a lot of experience in this area, and it’s likely that they will be able to help the reporter with background or other information that will make the story better.