Category Archives: Immigration Laws

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin Fight for Migrant Rights in Arizona

With so many migration issues in Europe and many countries in the Americas, it is important to identify organizations that support and advocate for civil, human and migrant rights.

Migrants Rights International (MRI) is an NGO that promotes and defends human rights of migrants in different global regions. As a non-governmental organization, MRI maintains special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

In a globalized world, migration and human rights have come into the spotlight in the midst of economic and political confrontations that are changing the world as we know it. The increase of violence in many regions of the world is an issue that many societies have been forced to face while some governments have attenuated and even denied human rights to millions of migrant families and individuals.

According to the UN, it is estimated that there are over 200 million people that currently live outside of the country they were born in. This figure equates to approximately 1 in 35 people being and international migrant. This number is only the official number, not counting for those that are in the condition of infringement of immigration laws.

It is very frequent that migrants suffer violence and are unable to receive legal protection where they are due to their illegal immigration status or even due to their nationality being prosecuted. The simple status of being “illegal” violates the international human rights law. Over recorded history, very few countries have fought to uphold dignity and human rights of those in these situations. Learn more about Jim Larkin:

In light of this sad reality, in 1994, international church representatives, human rights representatives, and other organizations united to form the “International Migrants Rights Watch Committee,” which in 2000, was renamed and is currently called Migrants Rights International (MRI).

MRI is based in Switzerland and unites multiple international, country and regional groups originating from the Americas, Europe, African and Asia to defend migrants’ rights and make the migrant voice heard so that coherent policies can be developed and accepted.

Another important effort is the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund, established by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, who are also co-founders of the Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media. In an episode involving Sheriff Joe Arpaio that resulted in settlement money, Lacey and Larkin decided to use the same money to help migrant organizations in the state of Arizona.

In the middle of the night while at their homes, reporters Lacey and Larkin found themselves being arrested and jailed, by the sheriff of Maricopa, Joe Arpaio.

The reason this happened was that they had revealed that grand jury proceedings had requested the reporters’ notes on articles about Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Their arrest took place on October, 18th, 2007 and later on resulted in a U$3.75 million settlement.

The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund supports groups that defend civil, human and migrant rights as well as civic participation and the freedom of speech at the Mexican border in Arizona and throughout the state.

Read more: Phoenix New Time and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia