Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: Pioneers of the Frontera Fund

There are millions of people today fleeing their home countries because of different reasons, and whenever they enter a new territory, they are sometimes being treated unequally, or much worse, being deported to their home countries. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/

These people are actually classified into different types – refugees, or those who left their countries because of war and poverty; immigrants – who have legal papers and have left their countries in search for a better life overseas; and illegal immigrants, or people without legal papers who have left their home countries in search of better opportunities abroad.

Sometimes, these three types of immigrants are being clumped into a single type and are being looked down, and ridiculed as they enter the borders of the new country they wanted to live in. The discrimination they receive and the unequal treatment being given to them have contributed to the decision of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin to establish the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund, which aims to help refugees and immigrants, both legal and illegal, who are entering the United States through Arizona.

Many of them came from the poverty stricken states in Latin America, or from those countries that have been overrun by the drug war. These people just wanted to start a new life, away from the danger that they are facing in their home countries.

Michael and Jim have felt the need to help them, so they are inviting these people to go and visit them so that they could find a way on how they could start a new life in the United States. They assist these people to find new jobs, find a cheap home to live in, and how they can integrate with the society.

Many immigrants have asked for their help in the past, and now these immigrants contribute greatly to society, as they are working to earn and spend to boost the economy.

The fund that Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have established can be traced back to a case that they’ve won in court. Back in the early days, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are working as writers for the Phoenix New Times, which they have established along with their classmates back in the 1970.

They have expressed their opinions vocally through the newspaper, and they frequently write articles and editorials on what they think the government should do in a variety of issues in the society they are living in. The paper is doing good – selling a lot of copies to the local population of Arizona – but one day, the two were arrested because of a case filed to them. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have been suspected of conspiring with a third party host website, and they are accused of publishing confidential information online, including the address of the Maricopa County Sheriff.

The Maricopa County filed a lawsuit against the two, but the judges who handled their case turned the decision over and the duo were awarded $375 million. These sum of money was later used to fund the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund, and until today, the two are able to help people who are in dire need.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin Starts the Frontera Fund

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, the two founders and executives of Village Voice and Phoenix New Times, was arrested on October 18 of 2007, illegally. Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio issued the arrest without a warrant of the two founders at their Phoenix homes. Lacey and Larkin are famous for their publications that took to Arpaio profusely about his actions towards illegal immigrant matters, which would result in discrimination against Latinos and Hispanics in general. In an article in the Phoenix times, Lacey and Larkin would post a piece that took matters to not only Arpaio, but the county’s public officials as well, claiming that the Maricopa County’s “grand jury subpoenas targeted the paper’s writers, the editors and the readers”. Arpaio would violate Lacey’s and Larkin’s First Amendment right; the two was arrested without probable cause, unlawfully detained for being tough critics. A judge calls this prosecution, “Highly Inappropriate”.

After a public outcry, the two would get released within 24 hours. The wrongful arrest would result in Lacey and Larkin receiving $3.7 million as a settlement. The two would use the money to start the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. This organization was put into effect to defend the legal rights of the Latinos and Hispanic communities, which are frequently violated by Maricopa County law enforcement and public officials. What the organization strives for specifically are grants in order to provide to migrant-rights organizations throughout Arizona. It has been a huge contributor since its start in the fight for human rights of many Latinos and Hispanics and its particular operational strategy towards this fight has definitely been a well-needed approach to this unfortunate discrimination mess created by Arpaio. Lacey and Larkin is also responsible for creating a website with a focus on all matters related to the First Amendment, called, the Front Page Confidential. This was created after selling Backpage in 2015.