Category Archives: Immigrants

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin; Fighting Back Legally

The much celebrated Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund gives hope and preaches courage to the oppressed in the United States with more than just its activities. The fund has a peculiarly heroic foundation story that overly states the purpose, and direction of the whole concept; fighting back as hard as possible.

Veteran journalists, specializing in exposing human rights violations, and discrimination, set up the fund after successfully suing for 3.7 million dollars from Maricopa County for wrongful arrest and intimidation.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, the two human right activists and veteran journalists, were arrested and wrongfully detained by Mr. Arpiao, America’s self-proclaimed toughest Sheriff. According to the journalists’ legal team, Mr. Arpiao confronted the two, arrested them, brutalized and intimated them, and ultimately detained them without any legal probable cause.

The 18th Judicial Circuit Court found the allegations by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin that Mr. Arpiao was acting on personal interest when he arrested them to be true. The two journalists had exposed the sheriff for gross misconduct and abuse of office.

According to reports that the two had written after collecting journalistic evidence from him, Mr. Arpiao had been perpetrating hate crimes against members of minority communities, especially the Hispanic Community. They had published journals categorizing his errant ways in three main constitutional breaches;

  • Abuse of power and office
  • Mistreatment of jail birds
  • Racially profiling members of minority groups

Mr. Arpiao, absorbed and consumed by the notion that his office made him above reproach, furiously went out to mete out oppressive and unlawful treatment of the two journalists. He used his official capacity to resolve personal differences in a criminal fashion. The two journalists, however, aware of their rights, resolved to seek justice in court.

Although they got frustrated severally, they did not relent in setting precedence for those who faced such oppression. They appealed all the way to the 18th circuit court where the court found Maricopa County liable for the damages that came to the two journalists at the hands of the Sheriff.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, on receiving the settlement cash, decided to set up the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund. The Fund is primarily meant to fight such racial profiling and discrimination; especially for the benefit of the Hispanic community.

The focus on the Hispanic community was because the two had personally witnessed gross human rights violations on members of the community. To make the fund as effective as possible, the journalists also decided to make partnerships with other human rights lobby groups for concerted effort.

Such groups that guard the rights and freedoms of immigrants and other minority groups include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU, which has been actively pushing for better treatment of immigrant, uses litigation to set favorable legal precedence for minority groups.

It challenges the constitutionality of oppressive laws like the ones that allow the mandatory and indefinite detention of immigrants. Another organization that uses the same approach is the Puente Arizona which is based in Arizona.

Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: