The Puente Movement and Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund Civil and Migrant Rights Crusade

Arizona is home to many civil, human and migrant rights groups and advocates. The Phoenix based Puente Movement is one such organization. The movement advocates for migrant justice by empowering and educating communities to enable them defend their families and enhance their quality of life. The organization’s operating framework is built on the foundation of “Closed Fist, Open Hand strategy”.

The Closed Fist strategy infers to fighting enforcement actions that criminalize people, though racial profiling, detention, Police-ICE collaboration and deportation. The Open Hand strategy, on the other hand, involves creating an all inclusive community and combating attrition policies skewed to make the lives of immigrants unbearable.

The programs being undertaken by the Puente migrant justice organization at the grassroots level currently include; Community Defense Courses, Underground Library and Puente a la Salud, which encourages community leaders to promote holistic health within the migrant populace. The Community Defense Course is designed to help participants understand their rights and defend their families and neighborhood.

At the end of the 6 week training, participants will understand how to navigate the detention and deportation system so they can help themselves and their loved ones. The Underground Library provides books that have been blacklisted in Arizona because of their ethnic content that is seen as inauspicious by the authorities following the passing of Arizona House Bill 2281.

About Larking and Lacey Frontera Fund

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin established the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund to support entities that support civil, human and migrant causes throughout Arizona. The journalists received a settlement of $3.75 million after their unlawful arrest by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on October 18, 2007.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were accused of writing about a secretive grand jury that sought reporter’s notes covering the Sheriff.

Michael and Jim are the Co-founders of the online based Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media.

Their website continually highlights news about migrants along with local and national policies and laws with repercussions to civil, human and migrant rights in Arizona and throughout the US. In one such report, the reported in late May about smart strategies volunteers, cities, businesses and states can use to resist President Donald Trump’s overreaching Immigration Policies.

The strategies include encouraging volunteers to support and visit immigrant groups; encouraging cities to craft a network of sanctuary businesses and state governments passing laws and budgets to assist immigrant communities. In Austin, Texas an organization is working with grassroots leaders and local businesses that participated in the “Day Without Immigrant” action to create a network of sanctuary businesses.

The program involves training business owners on strategies to protect immigrant workers from raids. In California, the state government has set aside a budget totaling $33 million to assist immigrant residents facing deportation. The fund will also help immigrant in California to safely apply for DACA and naturalization.

The state also recently passed the California Values Act to protect immigrant’s personal data from state sanctioned breaches and preventing law enforcement agencies from implementing immigration law retrogressively.

Learn more about Michael Lacey: