How The Lacy & Larkin Frontera Fund Is Making A Difference In Arizona

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), hundreds of thousands of men, women and children reside in immigration detention facilities, many without due process, where they remain for months or even years.

Numerous groups, including The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, call for immigration reform and civil rights protections for documented and non-documented migrant workers from Mexico.

Detention Facilities

The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIR) advocates for border demilitarization and migrant’s human rights. The NNIR claims that when private contractors under little scrutiny operate detention centers, human rights violations can easily be overlooked. Read more: Jim Larkin | Huffington Post

In addition, the NNIR cites an American Immigration Council report, which claims that Border agents use excessive force in some cases and detain people under inhumane conditions.

When the ACLU investigated five private prisons for undocumented immigrants, they found overcrowding, squalid conditions, physical and verbal abuses and insufficient medical care.

Another 2013 report by the Detention Watch Network, found similar conditions, along with inedible food and arbitrary restrictions on access to legal resources.

Deportee Treatment

Other groups are primarily concerned with how the Border Patrol treats deportees. On the Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico border, the Kino Border Initiative helps deportees dropped off by bus in Nogales, Mexico, typically without their belongings.

The Kino Border Initiative cashes the U.S. checks that replace the money that they took with them, lets them call their family and provides donated clothing and toiletries.

Funding

Funding for worthwhile programs, such as the Kino Border Initiative and the American Immigration Council comes in part from the Lacy & Larkin Frontera Fund, which began with Lacey and Larkin’s illegal arrest. The fund supports a broad range of causes in Arizona that help ensure people crossing the border from Mexico are treated with respect.

In 2007, Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpeggio, known for his anti-Mexican fear mongering, arrested Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin, who wrote a story for the Phoenix New Times that highlighted the substandard conditions in the jails that he ran, his repeated racial profiling and other misdeeds.

The two were arrested when they refused to respond to subpoenas from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office asking for personal information about their paper’s writers and readers. After a public outcry, the two men, who also owned the newspaper, were released.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found both the arrest and the subpoena illegal. Lacey and Larkin received a 3.7 million settlement from Maricopa County, which they use to support organizations that fight for Hispanic civil rights.

Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/relevant-links/

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