Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund: Towards Immigrants Rights in Arizona

Over the years, the fight for human, civil and migrant rights has gain traction. Globally, new organizations fighting for human rights are springing up. New funds are being set by individuals and entities to champion for and highlight the plight of many groups and communities around the world. These organizations have different mandates and operate at various geopolitical levels.

Organizations such as Human Rights International, United Nations Human Rights Commission, European Court of Human Rights and International Commission of Jurists among others are supranational entities who mandates and operational reach overarches several geopolitical boundaries.

Moreover, these organizations cover a wide variety of human issues including slavery, immigration and child labor among others. However, organizations such as Anti-Slavery International and Center for Economic and Social Rights specializes in specific human rights issues.

Some of these organizations such as the United Nations Human Rights Commission operate as a body within a larger supranational entity. The UNHRC, in particular, is part of the United Nations, which is an international intergovernmental body committed to various causes.

The funding for these human, civil and migrant rights organizations has been integral in their successes. Sources such as Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund, cofounded by Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, have been integral in operational autonomy of these organizations.

The funds have been critical in financing key operations of these organizations including monitoring of human rights situations, research, organization of workshops, seminars and various events and initiatives aimed at highlighting their causes and other logistical and operational needs.

The Origin of Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund

When journalists Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey went to report on the court proceedings of a case involving Joe Arpaio who was the Maricopa County sheriff, few would have predicted it would spiral out of control. On 18 October 2007, their long nightmarish ordeal at the hands of the sheriff began with a midnight arrest by the sheriff. They were arrested for running a story about the grand jury’s decision to call for the presentation of notes taken by journalists covering the story.

Following their arrest, the cofounders of Phoenix New Times were issued with grand jury subpoenas demanding that they reveal the identity of all online readers of the article they ran about the case. The cofounders of Village Voice Media challenged their arrests and the subsequent grand jury subpoenas on the ground that they contravened their First Amendment rights.

After a court battle that ended at the United States Court of Appeals, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were awarded $3.75 million as settlement. With the settlement money, the two journalists opted to redirect the funds into a charitable fund that will finance several human and civil rights issues throughout Arizona.

The resulting Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund, which is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, will be donated to various groups in the Arizona championing for migrant rights and other human and civil rights. The funds will also support organizations protecting the First Amendment rights while also championing for the participation of citizens in the controversial issue of building a wall along the Mexican-U.S. border.

Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:

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