The Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund is a trusted nonprofit foundation that has been operational since 2013. The primary aim of the organization is to facilitate the operations of Arizona-based activist groups that fight for the rights of immigrants across the state. The fund was co-founded by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin who are renowned journalists.
They own and manage online news outlets that are called the Village Voice Media and the Phoenix New Times. In 2007, Jim and Michael wrote a couple of stories that informed the public about the unlawful activities of Joe Arpaio, who served as the sheriff of Maricopa County at that time.
The sheriff was not happy with the incriminating articles, and this made him order for their arrest. Arpaio did not have a valid warrant, and therefore, the journalist sued the county government since their Fifth Amendment rights had been violated.
Jim and Michael won the lawsuit, and the Maricopa County offered them $3.75 million as compensation. The money was used in starting the Frontera Fund initiative.
A couple of Arizona-based activist organizations have been beneficiaries of the initiative. The Frontera Fund supports the Arizona Dream Act Coalition (ADAC), which is a group that was created to defend the rights of young Hispanic immigrants who live in Arizona.
They were determined to abolish various laws that made that targeted them. The youths were also struggling to get a decent education and access to formal employment in the United States.
The Arizona State passed various legislations in 2006 to force undocumented immigrants to be charged higher tuition fees for them to study in the United States. The laws made it very difficult for the immigrants to enroll in any learning institutions since it was too expensive.
The Hispanic youths were also excluded from being offered public scholarships even if they attained the required academic qualifications. The oppression made the students to establish the ADAC to end the injustices that affected them.
Jim and Michael’s donations have also been beneficial to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU has had an office in Arizona since 1959. The organization has made significant accomplishments that have helped in improving the lives of immigrants. In 1960, it filed and won a lawsuit that eliminated a law that had prohibited multi-racial marriages.
ACLU also helped Ernesto Miranda to be exonerated after being wrongfully jailed for rape. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin appreciated the efforts of the group in fighting for their release after Joe Arpaio detained them.
The ACLU helped in ending harassment of Hispanic immigrants by the police by advocating for the end of the “Papers Please” SB 1070 rule. They filed and won a petition against the law that had allowed the local authorities to enforce immigration laws.
ACLU is committed to ensuring that all the U.S-based immigrant have the freedom of speech. The organization is currently pressuring the governor of Arizona to reverse his executive order that has stopped the issuing of driving licenses to young immigrants who live in the state.