Many documented and undocumented Hispanic immigrants who are based in Arizona have been discriminated for many years. Many networks and organization have been established to protect their rights, and one of them is the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.
The foundation has been operational since 2013, and its primary goal is to fund activists who support human, minority, and immigrant rights. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin established the foundation after they won a lawsuit against the Maricopa County and were awarded a $3.75 million settlement fee.
The duo went to court after their First Amendment rights were violated by Joe Arpaio, who was a corrupt Maricopa County sheriff. The sheriff had detained them for exposing his activities through various articles that they wrote in the Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media.
The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund has sponsored various operations of the Justice for Immigrants and Families program. The body was established to make justice more accessible to the 325,000 undocumented immigrants who live in Arizona.
Most of these people do not have decent jobs, and therefore, cannot afford to pay for an attorney whenever they face legal challenges. Some immigrants are even deported because they lack lawyers to file proper cases for them.
JIF has been creating awareness on immigrant rights through legal consultations, orientation clinics, and workshops. It has ensured that the Hispanic community is not deprived of any social and economic opportunities.
The Phoenix Legal Action Network is the founder of the JIF. The network is made up of several competent attorneys who have volunteered to take pro bono cases that face women, racially discriminated individuals, immigrants, LGBT people, and religious minorities. They have spearheaded reforms in the local police departments, criminal justice, voting rights, and freedom of speech.
Promise Arizona (Paz) is also among the immigrant rights activist organizations that have been supported by Lacey and Larkin’s charity work. The foundation was established in 2010 to ensure that the Hispanic community was not discriminated by the SB 1070 law. Activists fought the law since it allowed the police to harass immigrants.
Paz joined efforts with various organizations to pray at the Phoenix state capitol to as a way of protesting the law. They prayed for 103 days, and the legislation was reversed by the court. Joe Arpaio was prosecuted for introducing policies violated the constitution.
Paz has been organizing demonstrations in Arizona and Washington, D.C. to ensure that the voices of the minorities are heard. The organization blocked street of Washington, D.C. during protests that were led by its executive director, Petra Falcon, in 2013.
He was later arrested and prosecuted for causing disturbances. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/
Since its inception, Paz has made accomplishments such as pushing for impartial voter registration, encouraging young undocumented immigrants to apply for the DACA program, and campaigning for immigration reforms during President Obama’s tenure. Read more: Michael Lacey | Facebook and Michael Lacey | Twitter
The organization is devoted to making Arizona friendly to all people by training young leaders who will bring change in future. Promise Arizona has also been visiting people in their houses to encourage them to stay positive.