The Frontera Fund, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey

The thing that made the Frontera Fund a reality happened on October 18th in 2007 at night. The Selective Enforcement Unit arrived at the residences of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey at a late hour. These officers put handcuffs on the two individuals. Their arrests were 100 percent complete. They took it upon themselves to make the professionals from the Village Voice Media leave their houses at this time. Both lived in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area. They were put into sport utility vehicles that lacked markings. Although the SUVs didn’t have markings, they had windows with tinting. Their license plates came from South of the Border in Mexico as well. Larkin and Lacey were put into two different correctional centers. Both of these centers were operated by Joe Arpaio. Arpaio at the time was the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. This sheriff had reason to feel contempt toward the two journalists. He detested the fact that the Village Voice Media at the time was always going into his behaviors. The publication made a point to talk about the sheriff and all of the things he did. It published articles that showcased his attitude toward immigrants who came to the United States from Mexico. It talked about the brutal situations in correctional facilities in the area. Inmates routinely passed away in the region’s prisons. The Village Voice Media was serious about notifying its readers about Arpaio’s problematic leadership.


News about the arrests of these two men rapidly spread in the United States. That’s why Larkin and Lacey were let go relatively quickly. They didn’t even stay in prison for a whole day. The charges that were against them were dismissed immediately, too.


These unlawful arrests brought on an extended court fight that focused on the First Amendment and rights in the United States. Larkin and Lacey received a settlement that totaled close to $4 million. Maricopa County was responsible for giving the two that amount of money. Larkin and Lacey used the money they got in order to put together a group that’s called the Frontera Fund. The objective behind this organization is to help all of the Hispanic people who live in Arizona. These people have had to endure many civil rights issues in the state. Larkin said that he was brought up on Arizona. He said that he learned rapidly that people should assist those who do not have much.