The debate concerning immigration and what the government is going to do is an urgent issue today than ever before. President Trump has established new policies in Washington and as he pushes through new laws and mandates, many migrants are living each day in fear.
As the push to deport more and more immigrants persists, the court systems and government officials are becoming overwhelmed and falling behind.
There are individuals who are trying to help these migrants cope with these troubling times. Two activists, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have devoted their lives to bring assistance to the migrants in Arizona.
These two were thrust into the national eye when they were arrested by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Lacey and Larkin are the co-founders of The Phoenix New Times and the Village Voice Media. This media group constantly put a spotlight on unfair policies of the Sheriff Department
Arpaio had the two men on October 18th, 2007 and charged them with publishing information about him and his office. There was also a grand jury established to try and get the sources for Lacey and Larkin’s stories.
The Grand Jury was also attempting to get the names of the readers of the Phoenix New Times and the Village Voice. Lacey and Larkin fought the charges all the way to the Supreme Court and received $3.2 million dollars, in compensation for false charges.
Lacey and Larkin turned this settlement money into the “Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.” This group supports those who advocate for civil, human and immigrant rights.
Lacey and Larkin used their settlement to improve the lives of the migrants in Arizona and across the United States. Among their top priorities is the importance of the freedom of speech and each person’s right to a fair and timely trial.
There are other groups throughout the country that advocate for the causes of minorities. Groups such as “Aliento,” which consists of “Dreamers” or students who have had a protected status as students. As the new policies from the Trump Administration are enacted, such students live in fear. Aliento provides money and legal support to these young people who are struggling to remain here.
“Justice That Works” is another nonprofit group in Arizona that highlights the problems of the justice system there. Read more: Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
This group is working with minorities to help stop the backlog of immigrants who are in the prisons, waiting for trials. Each of these groups and individuals is making a difference by working for what they believe in.