Across Arizona and communities close to the U.S.-Mexican border in the Southeast of the nation, The Frontera Fund has grown a strong reputation as one of the leading human rights organizations fighting for the lives of the Hispanic community. The roots of The Frontera Fund have an unlikely source, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the one-time Maricopa County Sheriff who has seen his name become a byword for the injustices leveled at the Hispanic communities of the border region.
Sheriff Arpaio did not provide the funding for The Frontera Fund directly but was part of a criminal conspiracy to silence two investigative journalists who were looking into the financial irregularities of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department. Village Voice Media executives and investigative journalists, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin published their story in the Phoenix New Times and almost immediately faced the backlash of Sheriff Arpaio and his Maricopa County allies; a Grand Jury subpoena was quickly obtained in an illegal way calling for the disclosure of the personal information of the readers of the Phoenix New Times.
Knowing the subpoena was illegal and included an attack on the U.S. Constitution, Larkin and Lacey refused the request and decided the best option was to make the actions of Sheriff Arpaio and his allies front page news. Following the publication of the article in the Phoenix New Times, Larkin and Lacey were arrested at their homes on the night of October 18, 2007, by officials in unmarked vehicles. This obvious intimidation tactic from Sheriff Arpaio and his allies saw Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin detained overnight for their failure to comply with an obviously illegal subpoena.
The fight against the actions of Sheriff Arpaio began almost immediately with media outlets across the nation coming out on the side of the two journalists and calling for their release at the earliest opportunity. Following their release, Larkin and Lacey began a court case which would end up in the Ninth Circuit Supreme Court where they were awarded $3.7 million for their unlawful arrest and incarceration. The compensation was used by Larkin and Lacey to create The Frontera Fund which has been at the heart of the fight to restore the pride and integrity of the Hispanic community in the Southeast which was the target of the much of the victimization of Sheriff Arpaio over the course of two decades.
Born in Liverpool, England on January 21, 1876, Jim Larkin, more widely known as Big Jim by his cohorts, was an Irish unionist and staunch Marxist. Jim Larkin had very little formal education, which was common to many people growing up in the slums of Liverpool at the time, and worked a number of menial jobs in order to assist his family in making ends meet. He was married to Elizabeth Brown in 1903, eventually having four sons, further emphasizing his need to enact change within the world of Irish laborers.
Eventually, Mr. Larkin would secure a job as a foreman on the Liverpool docks, and due to his socialist beliefs, soon developed the common opinion that Irish workers were experiencing unfair treatment on the whole, which led to him joining the National Union of Dock Laborers. Read more: Jim Larkin | Wikipedia and James Larkin | Ireland Calling
In 1905, Mr. Larkin would become a union trade organizer, working the position full-time, but as his methods of protest were deemed to be too radical for the organization, the National Union of Dock Laborers chose to relocate him to Dublin, where he would continue his efforts.
After relocating to Dublin, Ireland, Jim Larkin founded the Irish Transport and General Workers Union in 1907, whose ultimate mission was to unite the Irish workers in the region, forming one powerful collective.
After heading a series of effective labor strikes, including the Dublin Lockout, for which 100,000 Irish Workers protested for nearly eight months, the Irish Transport and General Workers Union would fall apart. In 1914, after form the Irish Labor Party, Mr. Larkin went to the United States in order to raise money in an effort to protest the British. While his time in the United States was initially fruitful, Jim Larkin would go on to be convicted of criminal anarchy and communism and eventually deported back to Dublin, Ireland.
During his time in Dublin, Mr. Larkin formed the Workers Union of Ireland, continuing to fight for the rights of Irish laborers until his death in 1947. Today, Jim Larkin is regarded as one of the instrumental figures in enacting changes regarding how unions operated, as well as changing the unethical practices of the corporations of the time.
Learn more about Daniel Taub: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml and http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/
Post-2016 Presidential Election, the extremist conservatives of GOP started targeting the diverse sects of the civil society of the country. Even before they started campaigning against pro-liberal measures, the inclusion of LGBT rights, policies friendly to migrants, and more. But all of a sudden, they got the license to target all of these with strange reasons after the election. The effect was very clear, and a large number of policies that gave a humane treatment to migrants and other sects have suddenly disappeared, and new ones came which were hostile to those sects. Now, the latest target of the extremist GOP members confirmed; it is DACA program that benefitted undocumented youth in the country.
To the people who are not familiar to DACA, it is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program designed by the former President Barack Obama to help the undocumented youth to escape from the perils of deportation. It provides an opportunity to seek employment in the country along with an SSN for a period of generally two years – which is renewable. Apart from that, many states even provide in-state-tuition fees and facilitate driver’s license to support their living. The move against the program started when the Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, sent a letter to the Federal government to revoke the program – specifically no renewal of DACA henceforth – or else face the legal consequences.
The message is clear; the popular program is going to be removed. Evan a governor of a red state and another nine attorney generals attested their names in the letter directed to the government. In the early weeks of July, this year, a small group of Hispanic Caucus met the John Kelly, current Homeland Security Secretary, in a closed-door discussion. He gave out the message that the program that offered opportunities and protection to nearly 800,000 people is experiencing threats by pointing out the legal challenges associated with the cases filed by the GOP members.
Though advocates and DREAMers were hinting about this, the announcement of Kelly made the people really panic. At present, DACA has completed five years of operations and offered innumerable benefits to the undocumented youth. The program helped more than 95% of beneficiaries to choose work, continuing education, or do both. They boosted the economy with millions of dollars in the form of college fees, paying taxes according to the earnings, investing in housing, vehicle, and more, and continuing higher education. The organizations such as Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund have started campaigning for a permanent solution to this.
Frontera Fund played an instrumental role in changing the migrant lives in Arizona positively for the last few years. It is the child of Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey – two news reporters from Arizona – after they decided to spend the money they received as the settlement from the Court of Appeals for the well-being of struggling migrants. They were arrested by the Sheriff of Maricopa County for writing about a grand jury instruction. However, the Court of Appeals discharged them from the charges and awarded a settlement amount of $3.7 million for their illegal arrest – which transformed as Frontera Fund.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, two outspoken critics of the infamous former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, were enjoying an evening in their homes on October 18th, 2007 when they were forcibly removed and taken away in handcuffs at the hands of the aforementioned sheriff. They were each taken to separate jails that were run by Arpaio. The pair had regularly used their media platform, Phoenix New Times, to report on the self proclaimed, “America’s Toughest Sheriff.” Their stories reported details about Arpaio’s civil rights violations that include unlawful detainment of Latinos,and poor health conditions and abuse of inmates at the jails he was in charge of. Arpaio made no attempts to hide his malice or racists views and eventually lost re-election for county sheriff to a democrat.
Lacey and Larkin were arrested for their coverage of Maricopa County’s flagrant rebuff of the United States Constitution when they issued grand jury subpoenas requesting the personal information of the Phoenix New Times’ employees and readers, to which Lacey and Larkin would not, and should not have complied. The outrageous charges were dropped shortly after the arrest, but Lacey and Larkin would then commence a court battle that would argue that Maricopa County had abused their power and infringed upon the journalists’ First Amendment rights.
The court ruled in favor of Lacey and Larkin and the pair were awarded a settlement of $3.7 million. After seeing first hand the abuses of power present in Maricopa County and confident that Arpaio did not represent the views of the majority of Arizonans, Lacey and Larkin vowed to use their settlement money to create the Frontera Fund. The Frontera Fund is an organization that is committed to helping the victims of Arpaio and the racist atmosphere created in Maricopa County and all over the country. The Frontera Fund supports groups that aim to help bring justice for immigrants who suffer civil rights violations and help undocumented immigrants on a path towards citizenship. Some of the groups supported by the Frontera Fund include the American Civil Liberties Union – Arizona, American Immigration Council, Arizona Justice Project and Promise Arizona.