The Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund is an organization that was created by Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey. The two men have been journalists their entire careers but they are also devoted to changing the poor treatment of immigrants from Mexico. They were taken from their homes and arrested in the middle of the night by the Maricopa County Sheriff. He arrested them because they released information that the Sheriff was collecting data taken by journalists.
Larkin and Lacey decided to sue the county and they ruled in favor of them on the grounds that the arrest was unlawful. The two men were given more than $3 million in settlement money. They decided it would be a good idea to use that money to help other activist groups. Therefore, the Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund was born and they now fund human, migrant, and civil rights groups across Arizona.
Puente is one of the groups that the Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund supports. They were created in 2007 after a large number of Mexican immigrants were illegally arrested and later deported.
Puente stages acts of civil disobedience in order to draw attention to the issues at hand. Primarily they are concerned about the poor treatment of these people and the often times illegal actions that are taken against them. They also conduct hunger strikes and marches in order to spread the word about their cause. The majority of the public is unaware of these issues. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/
Another group is the Colibri Center. Colibri was one of the first migrant rights groups to be funded by Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund. They are located in Arizona and dedicate their time to helping the families who lose someone while they were crossing the border.
One of the ways that they do this is through their successful Missing Migrant program. They travel to meet different families who are missing someone. They help them to create comprehensive and extremely detailed missing person’s reports. They focus on the small details so it is more likely that the medical examiners will be able to identify a body.
They are also in the process of beginning a DNA program that will make it much easier to find the missing people. Currently, the bodies that are found cannot be recognized with photo ID because of the harsh weather conditions that are present along the border. They usually cannot be found with fingerprint analysis either. Read more: Michael Larcey | Twitter and Phoenix New Time
The DNA program is going to change this and solve the issue of the hundreds of migrants who go unclaimed every single year. They collect DNA from the families and send that out to labs where it is analyzed against the DNA of the bodies. This will bring a sense of conclusion to the families who are left worrying about what had happened.
The Colibri Center also has a program for the families that allow them to get together and find comfort in their shared pain. They have facebook groups and secure phone lines for them to use to talk to each other.