A young immigrant was recently detained by ICE in Maricopa County and was found out later to be legally allowed to stay.
His arrest occurred because ICE agents saw a tattoo on him that they thought was a gang-related symbol, but it was discovered that it was nothing more than a symbol of what his homeland represented. As a result, a federal judge ruled that he could not be held as he was not in any violation of any laws and was there under DACA.
It’s advocates Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey who have been on top of his story who support immigrant rights groups and are fighting for fair immigration laws in courts. They publish these stories and gain favor with other support groups through the Frontera Fund, a foundation they run.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey have used journalism as their way of effecting change and telling stories you won’t hear about in most big name newspapers. They first wrote stories when Vietnam War protests reached the campus of Arizona State University where they attended at the time.
They started out with a pilot edition of a newspaper that would become known as the New Times originating in Phoenix but later worked its way across the nation. Larkin and Lacey also formed Village Voice Media which became the parent company and center of the Arizona operations.
Over the years Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey covered controversial stories and found themselves in the crosshairs of individuals and organizations who didn’t like their ways of exposing wrongdoing. But probably none more so than longtime former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who is the reason the Frontera Fund began in the first place.
Arpaio has often taken tough steps to come down on criminals in the Phoenix area, and he has even been known to bend the law a little in the name of protecting citizens. Larkin and Lacey started doing investigative reporting into him in the years following his first election to sheriff in 1992.
Joe Arpaio not only would plan various raids into Mexican American communities without proper authorization to do it at times; he also had some bad practices he enacted in the correctional facilities. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
Inmates were known to be given pink underwear and rotten food, and some were even housed in a jail that had only tents for protection against the elements. But as Larkin and Lacey started calling out Arpaio in their articles in the New Times, it led to him going too far.
Arpaio decided to find a loophole to say the two men violated a court subpoena in a particular case they were working. He had Larkin and Lacey arrested in the middle of the night, but he could not hold them because public outrage followed, and a district judge ruled that Arpaio had no probable cause to do that.
But Larkin and Lacey didn’t stop the court battle there; several years later they won a lawsuit against Arpaio for $3 million which they used to start the Frontera Fund. Their goal is to fight for justice against all the wrongs Arpaio committed while serving as sheriff.