When Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin began to investigate the illegal actions of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, they never expected to be subpoenaed. That’s exactly what happened. Joe Arpaio and his friends in the county’s attorney office had a subpoena written out that ordered Lacey, Larkin, and their newspaper, The Phoenix New Times, to turnover information regarding its writers, editors and even readers. Lacey and Larkin, instead of offering the information to the sheriff, wrote about it in their paper. Once the story hit shelves, Arpaio promptly sent his deputies to arrest Lacey and Larkin. Arpaio’s Selective Enforcement Unit pulled the journalists from their homes and threw them in unmarked SUVs with Mexican license plates. The two were hauled off to separate jails.
When the two were arrested, people all over the country were reading about it in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post. The outcry from American citizens forced the county to release Lacey and Larkin the same day they made the arrest. When they were free, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin sued the county and eventually went home with $3.7 million dollars.
Instead of retiring, or purchasing luxury cars, or buying a new home, Lacey and Larkin decided to create The Frontera Fund. The Hispanic-community has taken the most of Arpaio’s punishment during his 2 decade spree of evil, so Larkin and Lacey are using the Frontera Fund to give back to those people. Now, Lacey and Larkin support organizations such as ACLU of Arizona, the Arizona Justice Project, and American Immigration Council. They are helping the victims of Arpaio and his allies.
“I cannot think of a more deserving group than those Mexican immigrants who brave unimaginable peril in the desert to travel to Arizona for work and economic opportunity.” said Jim Larkin, while explaining why they decided to help such a target audience.
Joe Arpaio once arrested a Mexican citizen in Arizona who was visiting legally. This resulted in a judge ordering him to cease his federal immigration law enforcement. Arpaio quickly ignored the orders and was charged with criminal contempt of court. He has admitted to racial profiling and running a concentration camp. These are just a few of the reasons why Lacey and Larkin decided to create The Frontera Fund.