The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project is bringing the plight of immigrants housed in Arizona awaiting removal proceedings to light. Detainees do not always receive any sympathy, especially from elected officials who want to appear tough on crime and illegal immigration, yet we forget that detainees deserve our attention and our help.
Among the persons housed by the Department of Homeland Security, there are mentally ill, seriously ill and other fragile persons that cannot stand the conditions that they must endure. The nonprofit Florence Project offers these individuals free legal counsel.
Language barriers and the complexity of the American legal system and a lack of money keep some detainees from discovering what rights they have under the US Constitution. Lawyers working on a pro bono basis help people involved in immigration removal proceedings, since these individuals do not quality for legal aid. Read more: Michael Lacey | LinkedIn
The Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund supports the Florence Project and Justice That Works, another nonprofit organization that wants to improve Arizona’s justice system. Justice That Works, founded by attorney Heather Hamel, says that Arizona spends too much money incarcerating people, instead of helping them. Hamel says that mass incarceration is an ineffective, expensive civil rights problem that deserves attention. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/5-smart-ways-people-and-places-are-resisting-trumps-immigration-policies/
The tough on crime stance in Arizona is not improving public safety. Justice That Works collaborates with the Center for Neighborhood Leadership (CNL), another organization supported by the Frontera Fund. CNL works to train community leaders who will implement community development projects and become a voice for the underrepresented.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, founders of the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund, know all about what happens when people in power ignore the constitution and decide that incarceration is the best choice. Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio routinely violated Hispanic persons’ civil rights when he condoned racial profiling and held Maricopa County inmates in horrendous conditions, serving them moldy food and subjecting them to extreme heat.
When Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey complained about Arpaio in the Phoenix New Times, they were arrested using a subpoena that turned out to be unlawful. Maricopa County settled with Larkin and Lacey, who used the award to set up the Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund.
The Frontera Fund gives money to organizations that defend civil rights, primarily those of Hispanic persons. In addition, Larkin and Lacey use their journalism skills to shed light on current abuses and fight Arpaio’s re-election bids. In the Frontera Fund, Lacey and Larkin have found a good use for the money meant to compensate them for their unlawful arrest; a use that must to annoy Arpaio and his supporters.