Migration has become a big social and economic issue among policy makers and civil rights groups in the US. In Arizona, the Arizona Interfaith Network (AIN) is focused on building a relational power for collective actions by promoting justice and strengthening the ties that bind family and community beyond the demarcations of class, religion and race. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/relevant-links/
The organization was established in 1997 by 5 organizations, among them the Northern Arizona Interfaith Council, Yuma County Interfaith and Pima County Interfaith Council. Several community groups, including unions and schools are also involved in the initiative. Some of the organizations supporting AIN’s include Office of Provost Harvard at University and Pew Charitable Trusts.
One of the central issues of concern for AIN is immigration reform. The organization’s solid advocacy for immigration reform is firmly ingrained on its strategy of identifying, researching and disseminating information along with acting on various community issues.
AIM strongly encourages its members to respond to immigration policy, migrant deaths, and border control issues because all citizens of Arizona have a special responsibility to reach out to members of God’s family. To strengthen its resolve, AIN attended the 2004 Arizona Interfaith Network Convocations on immigration and Multi Faith Border Conference meetings held in Phoenix and Tucson respectively to present its faith-based principle on immigration reform.
AIM focus on immigrants stems from its understanding of the challenges faced by immigrants such as low income, discrimination and lack of social support. The organizational philosophy adhered to by Arizona Interfaith Network emphasizes continual development of local leadership to attain social progress.
To this end, AIN is committed to recruiting and training action oriented persons who can pinpoint various issues concerning their communities. Besides championing immigration reforms, AIN also supports the economic empowerment of citizens and long term care for the growing number of elderly people in Arizona.
About Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the founders of Phoenix New Times, Village Voice Media and the prolific Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund, which supports groups advocating for civil and migrant rights across Arizona. The journalists were made famous following their arrest on October 18, 2007 by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The Sheriff accused Lacey and Larkin of disclosing the existence of a grand jury that sought reporter’s notes about him. The journalists sued the County for wrongful arrest and received $3.75 million in settlement. Since the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the US, a lot has been made about his tough talk on immigrants.
On April 2017, Laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org reported about the unveiling of a hotline for victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants by Trump. The move came in the wake of an announcement by the Homeland Security Secretary, Jeff Kelly to establish a Victims of Immigration Crime office for reporting crimes committed by “alien”.
In counteraction, activists and supporters of immigrants trolled the hotline with reports of alleged crimes committed by space aliens in a move seen as a rebuttal to Trump’s harsh stance on immigrants.