President Trump had a lot of outspoken and brash personalities support him on his run to the Presidency, but perhaps none more outspoken than the most famous immigration enforcer former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Arpaio was set to be charged with various abuses of power and corruption during his time as sheriff, but President Trump determined to make sure his longtime supporter was given a free pass.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacy, the founders of the Frontera Fund and longtime journalists had been named as some of Arpaio’s top enemies, and they said that Trump’s pardoning him is a sign of weakness in the justice system. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427427/Jim_Larkin and http://james-larkin.com/about/
Even though Arpaio may not have gotten the penalty that Larkin and Lacey felt he deserved, they indicated that they would continue to speak out against injustices that those in the Latino communities had suffered under his watch.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey’s latest battle against the former Maricopa County sheriff led to the founding of the Frontera Fund. This organization seeks to help those in the Latino immigrant communities in Phoenix and other cities across the US, and it does so by partnering with other organizations dedicated to immigration reform.
Larkin and Lacey hope to stop the mass deportations that occur during ICE raids, continue the DACA program that President Obama began and fight for other issues such as lower college tuition for immigrants. They hope most importantly to hold elected officials accountable to their constituents.
Larkin and Lacey were originally the owners of Village Voice Media and its newspaper edition the Phoenix New Times. Back in the early 1970s they began the newspaper as part of a college paper at Arizona State University, but as its sales picked up they dropped out of college to publish the news articles full-time.
Their original stories focused on student activist groups that most newspapers portrayed as being extreme agitators during the Vietnam War, and Larkin and Lacey sought to bring the truth out about incidents such as the Kent State shootings.
The Phoenix New Times was grown into multi-city editions and had quite a reach by the 1990s. Some of its authors put together compelling pieces on events such as 9/11 and the Enron scandal.
The battle Larkin and Lacey had with former Sheriff Arpaio was one that began during the 1990s but it reached its height around 2007. Incidents involving law enforcement raids into immigrant neighborhoods as well as mysteries surrounding properties purchased by the Sheriff that seemed to exceed his salary prompted investigative journalism from Larkin and Lacey.
After the judge dropped the case against the Phoenix New Times, Larkin and Lacey filed a lawsuit against Arpaio which was honored with a $3.75 million settlement in 2013.
That money was used to startup the Frontera Fund and its now become the focal point of their journalism. The Frontera Fund has received high reviews from various civil rights foundations.