They are called dreamers. They come to the United States as babies, toddlers and small children. As they grow up, the only country they have ever known is the United States. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
They speak English as well as any born-and-bred American. They go to school, get part-time jobs when they get older, and they contribute in multiple ways to our American economy and culture.
But in the eyes of the law, these Dreamers are illegal aliens. That makes enjoying even some of the small privileges that legal citizens take for granted impossible – including the possibility of attending college.
Now an organization in southern Arizona called Fundación México is trying to help these “Dreamers” of Mexican descent have a chance at achieving a higher education.
Fundación México is grant-making foundation that provides scholarships to civically active, hardworking youth of Mexican heritage so they can pay tuition for a university education.
An Arizona-based nonprofit organization called the Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund has stepped in to provide Fundación México with further financial support.
The Larkin and Lacy Fund draws from an original $3.7 million it received after winning a lawsuit against one of Arizona’s former and most notorious Country Sheriffs, Joe Arpaio. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427427/Jim_Larkin and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey
It was in 2007 that the two publishers of the Phoenix New Times were illegally arrested by Sheriff Arpaio’s deputies. The media operators were publishing stories that exposed the brutal treatment by Maricopa County cops of undocumented workers and people of Latin heritage in Arizona.
The arrest of two journalist for just doing their jobs was a blatant violation of America’s most fundamental and cherished right – freedom of the press as sanctified by the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In a major twist of irony, the $3.7 million Maricopa County was ordered to pay Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin is now benefiting the same people who bore the brunt of Sheriff Arapio’s Gestapo-like tactics against Mexicans and other immigrants.
The Frontera Fund is also a passionate supporter and advocate of the Dreamers. They are now under more threat than ever from the fiercely anti-immigrant Trump Administration.
The fate of these young people who love America and hope to become full-fledged citizens someday is precarious as Congress and the President continue to negotiate a potential deal that might let Dreamers stay – or see them deported.
The Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund will continue to support organizations like Fundación México and all who value our Dreamer population in the U.S.