The American Civil Liberties Union or ACLU of Arizona has made great strides in preserving the rights of migrants and other individuals within the state of Arizona.
Billing themselves as the nation’s guardian of individual liberties, the ACLU of Arizona works tirelessly to keep the people under their charge free and their personal rights intact. Since it’s official formation in 1959, the Arizona ACLU has never shied away from the big fights. They encourage people in their community to act, know their rights and spread the word about their mission. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | Facebook
The ACLU of Arizona has been involved in a lot of landmark cases over the years. Their first ever victory was in 1960 when they received a verdict that overturned a law banning multiracial marriages. The reason this case was so pivotal for the ACLU of Arizona is that it contributed to the case that eventually introduced the Miranda Rights into police interactions. Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/
This case helped fuel litigation over decades that would challenge laws and police action. Another landmark case they contributed to was that of Melendres v. Arpaio in 2013. This case attempted to call out the actions of the Maricopa County Sheriff and his department because they engaged in racial profiling to pull over individuals based on their perceived ethnicity.
The police department would then question them about their citizenship status after they have completed a “legal” stop. They won, leading the police department to receive retraining and a monitor to make sure they maintained compliance with the ruling.
Today, the ACLU has plans to tackle everything from continuing to fight for equality for migrant and LGBT individuals to education equity. They continue to raise public awareness to the injustices that migrants are still suffering today. The hope is that one day they will help build a state where everyone is treated equally regardless of who they are.
When thinking about this organization and the Arpaio case, it is easy to think about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin’s 2007 dealing with the Maricopa County Police Department.
The co-founders of Phoenix New Times were removed from their home in the middle of the night for printing news about investigations into the police department.
They were released, but not before they had endured enough deprivation of basic rights to ensure a hefty lawsuit.
Today, the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund uses those proceeds to help fund organizations like the ACLU of Arizona. It is Lacey and Larkin’s intent to ensure that this does not happen to anyone else in the future.