Most people know Arizona to have a majority number of undocumented individuals. More than 300000 people live in Arizona without documentation. Despite this, Maricopa County has never offered any organization that provides low-cost or free legal services to non-detained immigrants that risk deportation. Due to this, the immigrants in Arizona must try to go through the complicated and confusing system without any legal assistance. Read more: Phoenix New Time and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
However, some organizations have come to the rescue to help these immigrants. We have written about such two organizations that are working hard to ensure immigrants get the help they need to avoid deportation.
If you follow civil rights movements, you have probably come across this name. It is an organization founded by Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey.
They are also the founders of Village Voice Media and Phoenix New Times. The two are popular for dedicating the settlement money that came from the imprisonment of Sheriff Joe Arpaio to fund human rights organization in Arizona.
The settlement was $3.75, and it resulted when Sheriff Joe of Maricopa County arrested Jim and Michael on 18/9/2007. Jim and Michael were arrested from their homes during the night. It was after revealing that there was a grand jury proceeding that looked for reporters’ notes on the news covering the Sheriff.
More severely, the grand jury subpoenas wanted to know the identity of individuals who read New Times stories online that involved the Sheriff. The two journalists who had spent their entire careers defending and asserting their first amendment rights went to court and sued the county, they won in the United States Court of Appeals for the ninth circuit.
The organization funds groups that advocate for migrant, civil, human rights as well as civic participation and freedom of speech in Arizona and the Mexican border.
Justice for Immigrants and Families Project (JIF)
A new movement hopes to promote and while offering access to justice for Maricopa immigrants. The group will represent immigrants directly in removal proceedings by recommending suitable cases to pro bono attorneys or by training them. It will give group workshops, access to self-help legal guides, “know your rights” orientations and legal consultations to people facing immigrant problems.
The movement will also collaborate with other community groups such as Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund to provide more support and empowerment for immigrants. JIF’s goal is to ensure that the immigration status of individuals will never pose a barrier to economic and social opportunities. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Micheal Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/
In other words, Justice for Immigrants & Families is a pioneer project from Phoenix Legal Action Network. A group of lawyers who give pro bono legal services to enhance and protect the rights of women, immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community, racial minorities, and religious minorities. The network also advocates for voting rights, criminal justice reform, free speech, and police accountability.
In conclusion, the above two groups have been helpful to immigrants in Arizona area. You can learn more about such groups and current news at Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund website.