President Trump drew some heavy criticism in the first year of his term for pardoning former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was facing indictment for ignoring a federal judge’s order.
This pardoning drew criticisms not only from Democrat party activists and immigration reform groups; it also was slammed by writers at National Review, a conservative-leaning political news journal.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, longtime journalists and known enemies of Arpiao let it known that they thought the justice system needs fixes to hold corrupt law enforcement officials like Arpaio accountable, and they said this pardon was going to further their resolve to fight for justice for immigrants.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey frequently wrote about controversial raids and deportations Arpaio conducted while serving as Sheriff, and their current human rights group the Frontera Fund has taken up initiatives to help impoverished immigrant communities and bring light to what’s really happening in these communities.
They’ve been known critics of Trump’s plans to build the wall and want to see more fair immigration laws passed at both the state and federal levels. The start of Larkin and Lacey’s Frontera Fund came after 40 years in alternative journalism and over 10 years in specific duels with Arpaio.
Michael Lacey grew up in Binghamton, NY and got his love of journalism from publications his father encouraged him to read. He moved out to Arizona to study at Arizona State University, and it was there that he met Jim Larkin, a lifelong native of Arizona who also became interested in independent journalism. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://about.me/jim_larkin and http://james-larkin.com/
They both actually dropped out of college because their independent newspaper, the Phoenix New Times and its parent company Village Voice Media were gaining attention rapidly.
Their original stories were covering the protests going on during the Vietnam War and seeking to get the truth out about the Kent State shootings. But over the years they started growing the New Times into additional cities and covering topics ranging from political scandals to technology developments. Immigration became a big story in the early 2000s as Arpaio’s office started flexing its muscles.
Around 2004, a Phoenix New Times reporter started gathering information about a potential police corruption case Arpaio was involved in, and Arpaio decided to retaliate by arresting Larkin and Lacey and doing so by using a little-known law. But public opinion turned on Arpaio as a result of this and a district judge subsequently dropped the case against Larkin & Lacey.
They later decided to sue Arpaio’s office for the wrongful arrest, and the $3.75 in settlements they received was used to start the Frontera Fund. Larkin said that when he was young, he was taught that all people matter when talking about compassion and he hopes the Frontera Fund will make a difference in the lives of immigrants.