Since 2014, the Frontera Fund has been going strong and has served as an advocate for those in the Hispanic community in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Their main focus has always been to serve as a counterbalance against the abuses of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin are the founders of this venture, and their story will tell you firsthand about the terrible personal struggles that led up to this new organization.
It all started on October 18, 2007 when these two men were each arrested separately at their homes by the “Selective Enforcement Unit” branch of Arpaio’s Maricopa County Sheriff Office. The two men were well-known for being outspoken Village Voice executives, and Sheriff Joe had long been angered over the fact that their periodicals were exposing some of his misdeeds.
Because of this, he ordered the two men arrested and thrown into unmarked SUV’s and book into two separate facilities managed by the long-time sheriff. From the outset, the story was not without its irony.
First of all, it would seem that Arpaio had his guilty conscience, considering the fact that both of the SUV’s had tinted windows. Also, for a man who is so against immigration from Mexico, it must have appeared quite strange to both of these men that the SUV’s each had Mexican license plates.
This is a rhetorical question of course, but just why, exactly were these two men arrested? Simply put, it was because they were issued a subpoena regarding the writers, editors, and readers of their periodical the Phoenix New Times. Instead of giving in to Sheriff Arpaio’s heavy-handed bullying tactics, they wrote about the subpoena. Yet again, it must have been extremely ironic that would they were booked into the Maricopa County Jail and asked by other inmates what they were in for, all they could simply say was “Writing.”
To make a long story short, this abuse of power by Sheriff Arpaio touched off a long and protracted legal battle that the two men wojld eventually win. They received a $3.8 million dollar settlement, and because of that large amount of funding they were able to utilize it in order to establish this new Frontera Fund. There is no question that the two men believe that demonizing Mexican immigrants serves no valid purpose and only creates a divisive wound in this country. The Frontera Fund is in existence today to combat many of the misconceptions regarding Mexican migrants, because after all, “we are all migrants.”