For a long time, immigrants in the US have had rough times when it comes to human and civil rights. Of the thousands perhaps millions of immigrant who trickle to the land of opportunity on a daily basis, a good number if not all don’t have an idea whether they have rights on the American soil. Many of them have been oppressed and treated in a way tantamount to abuse of fundamental human rights and freedoms.
There is no denying that immigrants have contributed a great deal in shaping the country that is globally known as a haven of democracy and human rights. The only relief that immigrants get when they face challenges is the help of existing groups that advocate for their civil and human rights.
The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) is one entity that is passionate about addressing issues affecting immigrant family not only in California but nationwide. This coalition operates with a policy for freedom of movement, equal human rights, and real participatory democracy. Read more: About Lacey and Larkin- Frontera Fund
CHIRLA has pursued the inclusivity of immigrants on all fronts, and they have mobilized resources with an aim to change public perception and policies to achieve full human, civil, and labor rights for the so called aliens who cross American borders in search of a better life.
CHIRLA has always operated on the agenda for progressive social change ever since its inception in 1986. Given that Los Angeles is an ethnically diverse city with a large number of immigrants, CHIRLA’s focus has always been to shed light on core migrant issues, their plight and how to build open platforms that discuss and build solutions towards immigrant problems.
For instance, the group has been on the forefront educating immigrant workers and student about their rights and legal thresholds. The coalition has a team that caters to the rights of household workers teaching them about protecting their rights and how to handle issues such as wage theft, abuse, and other violations. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/
While CHIRLA continues to look for solutions to fix the broken immigration system, another organization has dedicated its effort towards a similar cause. The Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund works to assist civil and human right groups that advocate for immigrant issues. The fund was established after an incident involving two journalists, Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin.
Their crime was exposing cruel county sheriff. In their writing, the two detailed how Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, pushed for an Anti-Mexican immigrant stance and unlawful ethnic profiling. They were arrested for exposing the rot including abuse of office, mistreatment and deaths of jailed immigrants, wrongful detention of Latinos, and blowback retaliations against the sheriff’s critics.
After their arrest, Mike and Jim got into a long drawn out court battle. Eventually, they were awarded compensation for their woes, and they dedicated the $3.7 million settlement towards the plight of immigrant rights. In 2014, the Frontera Fund started releasing funds to groups that were fighting for the right of Latinos.
Many groups have since benefited from the funds including the No More Deaths-No Más Muertes, The Colibrí Center for Human Rights, American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project and the Si Se Puede Foundation.