Recently, Donald Trump issued a presidential pardon to one Joe Arpaio, former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, despite his long grocery list of illegal atrocities. In addition to criminal convictions, Arpaio is renowned for subjecting immigrants of Maricopa County to unfair racial profiling, unconstitutional treatment in jail, wrongful arrest, encampment, and an entire array of grave misconduct. There may lie some silver lining yet, however, amidst this scumbag’s trail of injustices.
Nearly a decade ago, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, two highly respected reporters, dug up some unflattering information regarding Mr.Arpaio. The duo wrote in a Pheonix, Arizona publication, about Arpaio’s corruption and misuse of public funds for his own personal gain.
In response and retaliation, Sheriff Arpaio jailed Larkin and Lacey under a false pretense, claiming the two refused to turn over personal information, which Arpaio had no right to obtain, to begin with. The journalists were immediately released when the arrest was finally deemed unconstitutional and went quickly to work in their pursuit of truth, justice, and human rights.
With their almost $4 million settlement from Maricopa County, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey launched the Frontera Fund. The Frontera Fund supports and even partners with groups which advocate for general civil and migrant rights as well as freedom of speech and civic participation throughout Arizona, including those involved directly with the Mexican border.
The fund uses donations to further its mission to ensure all immigrants receive their right to fair opportunity in the United States. The reporters, Larkin and Lacey continue to use their talent and voices in journalism to spread awareness of human rights violations and the dangers of letting people like Joe Arpaio abuse their power.
The Frontera Fund has supported a multitude of human and civil rights organizations, including Aliento and the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition. The fund brings the battle for justice even closer to home by helping the individual of unjust discrimination find the resources they need to escape injustice and fight for a better, equal future.
Although Joe Arpaio may walk free, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey get the last laugh. Without the racist sheriff’s antics, the two journalists may have never founded their Frontera Foundation. The Frontera Fund has proved invaluable to countless efforts for equal human rights and immigrant opportunities.
Larkin and Lacey’s legacy will forever be remembered as a piece of poetic justice against a man so vile as to base the vaue of human life on something as trivial as nationality.