Organizations Fighting for Human Rights

The Frontera Fund

On October 18, 2007, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were pulled out of their homes in the middle of the night and jailed for exposing grand jury proceedings that sought the reporter’s notes on articles about Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a sheriff guilty of racial profiling. The Grand Jury wanted the notes on articles about the sheriff, as well as the identity of readers of articles, which was an alarming infringement on First Amendment Rights for Lacey and Larkin.

Lacey and Larkin sued the county in defense of their First Amendment Rights and received a 3.75 million settlement. With that money they founded the Frontera Fund, which supports groups that advocate for human, civil, and migrant rights as well as protecting First Amendment Rights.

The Frontera Fund supports 22 nonprofits, including The Florence Immigrants and Refugees Rights Project and the Arizona Justice Project.

In addition, the Frontera Fund writes articles exposing corruption and injustice, including of the Constitution and politicians signing anti-immigration bills.

The Fund also raises awareness for the problems many people face, like the struggles immigrants experience when trying to come into the United States and explaining things like the basics of Trump’s proposed travel ban.

The Arizona Justice Project

Many indigent people are criminalized unjustly and because of prejudice and poor representation, they spend more years in the criminal system than is just. The Arizona Justice Project’s mission is to “represent indigent Arizona inmates whose claims of innocence or manifest injustice have gone unheeded.”

They take on people who have been wrongly convicted or who received excessive sentences, like getting a life sentence for a crime as a juvenile. They also represent inmates who are suffering PTSD and and those facing life-threatening illnesses without getting proper treatment. Learn more about Michael Lacey:

The non-profit collaborates with Arizona law schools, pro bono lawyers, and expert investigators to bring evidence and witnesses to their cases and find justice for those who have been wronged by the justice system before.

The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project

Thousands of immigrants are held in Arizona’s detention centers. Many are battling deportation but they cannot afford lawyers to defend them. Without representation, immigrants often lose their cases and get deported even when they didn’t have to. The Florence Project offers free legal services to detainees fighting deportation.

They also help “fragile detainees”, or those who are seeking asylum, suffering from mental illnesses and serious physical illnesses, as well as survivors of torture, and domestic violence. The Florence Project seeks to give the information and help detainees need while in detention centers.