In recent times, specifically throughout the 2016 election and campaign period, issues regarding civil, human and migrant rights have been brought to the forefront. With the constant narrative painted of immigrants as criminals, there is need to have them represented, and their rights fought for. This is the basic function that the following groups perform.
The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
To understand more about it, we must first understand the background leading to its formation. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are college dropouts who co-founded the Phoenix New Times, a local newspaper that back in the 1970’s was a students’ publication.
On October 18, 2007, the pair was arrested in their homes because of a story they had published concerning Sheriff Joe Arpaio and grand jury proceedings that aimed to violate the first amendment. Following a public outcry the two were released and went on to sue Maricopa County for wrongful arrest, and in 2013 they were awarded 3.75$ million as a settlement.
The awarded settlement is what the pair used to start the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. The fund aims to support groups advocating for civil, human and migrant rights throughout Arizona which include the Mexican border.
One such group is the SySTEM Phoenix – College X Trips. This group runs a charter school for underprivileged children with little hope of joining colleges. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/blogs/az-aclu-honors-new-times-founders-jim-larkin-and-mike-lacey-as-civil-libertarians-of-the-year-6500737
Other than their STEM-modeled learning system, they also offer college trips to the children to encourage them to want to pursue higher education. The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund comes in to support the trips to Arizona universities.
The American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA)
This is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, voluntary bar association with attorneys and professors countrywide. They offer information and education about immigration law to people. Additionally, they represent families seeking citizenship for their relatives, asylum seekers as well as foreign students and athletes.
The Coalition for Human Immigration Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
The group is based in Los Angeles but enjoys nationwide recognition. It deals with policy making to shape public opinion with the intent of attaining civil rights and encouraging laws that help the immigrants.
In some instances, it works with other bodies whose aim is to protect immigrant rights for example by exposing a breach of labor laws and ensuring better working environments for them.
The Arizona Dream Act Coalition
The founding of this body traces back to 2006 when an unjust law targeted undocumented students forcing them to pay higher tuition fees and locking them out of merit-based scholarships. Presently the organization champions for lower tuition fees, education, immigrant and human rights generally.
An example is a case they brought against the Arizona governor for refusing to grant the Dreamers driver’s license even after they had been cleared by appropriate agencies to continue living in the United States.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: