The Struggle for Immigrant Rights

Its only two decades into the 21st century and the world is overwhelmed by an astronomical rise in migration rates. Across the world, human beings are on the move. Wars have devastated many countries pushing people to unimaginable suffering and leaving them with no alternative except moving to areas they can find peace to raise their families.

Poverty levels across the developing world have also sent thousands of migrants across the open seas in search of greener pastures to ensure the guarantee of a great future for the families.

The United Nations Refugee Agency has already identified current migration trends as unseen since world war two. Europe received its largest share of refugees last year when more than two million people escaping the war in the Middle East entered the continent. Not so many were lucky to reach their destinations safe; some died in fragile boats in open seas, and many more are stuck in refugee camps.

Migration, in general, does not elicit similar feeling among the receiving population as the reality of new arrivals sinks in. while many are receptive, some are simply hostile to the new inhabitants.

Those hostile sometimes include government officials or citizens who do not feel their governments should allow migrants into their territory.

Many organization have come up dealing with various aspects of migrants rights. These civil society groups have been at the forefront of fighting for the rights of the migrant to lead a reasonably good life free of discrimination with full access to all services availed to all members of their societies. Some of these organizations in the US include Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA).

There is also The Advocates for Human Rights; a body that inspects and uncovers the various forms of human rights violations, advocates for the refugees and immigrants who seek asylum, and in addition offers training as well as assists groups which fight for the protection of human rights. Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund supports migrants too. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia

The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund, for instance, is a direct response to human rights violations to the people of Arizona. The fund seeks to provide financial support to organization that are engaged in various levels of struggling for immigrant rights in Arizona.

The formation of the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund is itself a story of rights violation. The co-founders, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, two established journalists also co-founders of the Phoenix New Times, found themselves in chilling circumstances in 2007. In a thrilling publication in the Phoenix New Times, they revealed Sheriff Joe Arpaio dealings that included racial profiling and arresting of individuals.

After this story, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were identified by the sheriff as targets. On October 18, 2007, the sheriff arrested them keeping them in separate prisons under his jurisdiction.

Due to their influential position as journalists, the story went viral, humbling the tough sheriff. Sheriff Joe was later tried for wrongful detention of individuals. He agreed to settle by paying $3.75 million and Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin decide to use the amount to set up the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.

Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/

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