Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey’s Incredible Sacrifice

Human rights, globalization, and migration have emerged as political, social, and economic challenges reshaping the world. Most of the problems affecting many societies fall under violence against migrants and restrictive government policies that undermine the fundamental human rights of migrants and their families.

According to United Nations, more than 200 million people either live temporarily or permanently outside their home country. Out of every thirty-five people, one is an international migrant. The number of international migrants includes immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. However, this vast number does not consider those of undocumented or irregular status.

Migrants are highly vulnerable to violence due to hostile living conditions. Migrants are also excluded from legal protection in most countries due to their nationality or immigration status. Most immigrants are seen as criminals and people who illegally live in a foreign land. Little international advocacy, public education, and attention have been devoted to the dignity and human rights of migrants. Read more: Phoenix New Time

The fact that migrants are seen as law offenders, they are deprived basic rights entitled to other citizens under international human rights policy. Due to the inhuman conditions that migrants were exposed to, something had to be done.

In 1994, international representatives of human rights, churches, civil society organizations, inter-governmental agencies, and migrant combined efforts to establish the “International Migrants Rights Watch Committee.” The group was later renamed to Migrants Rights International (MRI) in 2000.

MRI brings together international, regional, national, and local groups from Asia, North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America to promote migrant voices and their rights at different levels of policy-making. MRI is in special consultative status with other international organizations such as United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Jim Larkin and his colleague Michael Lacey, the co-founders of Village Voice Media and Phoenix New Times, dedicated their settlement money to fund various migrant rights organizations.

The two journalists support human rights organizations in Arizona. Michael and Jim committed $3.75 million to support migrant organizations.

Larkin and Lacey were taken from their homes at night and jailed for revealing the ongoing jury proceedings that sought notes from reporters covering the Sheriff. The grand jury also demanded the identification of people who read New Times stories involving the lawman. Larkin and Lacey spent their careers defending and asserting their First Amendment Rights. The two journalists sued the county for their unfair proceedings.

The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund support groups that advocate for human, migrant, and civil rights. The organization also fights for civic participation and freedom of speech throughout Arizona.

Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/5-smart-ways-people-and-places-are-resisting-trumps-immigration-policies/

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