Justice for Immigrants & Families is a preliminary project by Phoenix Legal Action Network which encompasses some lawyers offering pro bono services to safeguard and boost the rights of migrants, racial minorities, women, LGBTQ community, and religious minorities.
Additionally, the program also promotes free speech, criminal justice reforms, voting rights, and police accountability.
According to statistics, one in seven Arizonans is a foreigner. Moreover, the state houses approximately over 325,000 undocumented individuals who represent over 40% of the total population of Arizona.
The presence of legal representation is very crucial to an immigrant facing deportation charges. This is because, with a lawyer, the victim is five times more likely to win the case.
Shockingly, Maricopa County had never in the past had an establishment that offered these undocumented persons with free or low-cost legal services. As such, most of the immigrants encounter several barriers as they try to navigate the confusing and complex system on their own without an attorney. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://about.me/michael-lacey
Some of these problems faced by immigrants in the proceedings include family separation; lack of liberty, and in some cases life or death surroundings.
Because of the harsh enforcement policies implemented in the Presidential orders on immigration, there is an increased need for an attorney to represent migrant families in Maricopa County and this is where Justice for Immigrants and Families come in.
Justice for Immigrants & Families Project (JIF) aims to offer refugees in Maricopa County with access to legal representation. It will do so by representing migrants in removal proceedings by educating them and referring some of the cases to pro bono lawyers. Read more: Jim Larkin | Angel.co and Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
Moreover, the program will also hold ‘know your right’ orientations, legal consultation, and group workshops to help immigrants understand their role during the deportation proceedings. The ultimate objective of justice for Immigrants and Families is to make certain that a person’s immigration status will no longer hinder them from social and economic opportunities.
About the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
On the night of October 18, 2007, Joe Arpaio instructed his armed deputies to go and arrest Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin. The two were removed from their homes forcibly and pushed into a dark tinted SUV with Mexican license plates. Later on, the duo was put into separate prisons managed by the Sheriff Arpaio.
Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin were the co-founders of Village Voice Media and had been apprehended for penning a cover story in Phoenix News Times. The story on the newspaper had exposed Sheriff Joe Arpaio as a corrupt individual with several financial irregularities, abuse of power, racial profiling, prisoner mistreatment and even death, and illegal detention of Latinos.
Larkin and Lacey exposed how Arpaio and his friends at the Maricopa County Attorney Offices had granted grand jury subpoenas in search of the newspapers writers, readers, editors as well as personal browsing histories and IP addresses of the online readers. Nevertheless, the duo was released by the Sheriff after a loud public outburst on the issue.
After their release, Larkin and Lacey decide to sue the sheriff’s office for infringement of their First Amendment right which the court found that they had been detained without any legitimate reason. In turn, they were compensated $3.7 million.
Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin then decided to use the settlement money to set up the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund that funds advocate groups supporting civil, human, and migrant’s rights across Arizona.