Lacey & Larkin

Immigrant rights were never in a great position in the first place, but the presidency of Donald Trump has affected things pretty negatively in that regard.

Trump’s campaign, among other things, focused on slandering immigrants and minorities in general and he seemingly intends to make good on his promises about restricting immigration and deporting more people.

It’s important to note just how harsh ramping up deportations would be – after all, there were more people deported under the Obama administration than any other in history, so if Trump is setting about breaking that record he’d have to rack up the levels of inhumanity. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikepida

Of course deportations aren’t just a matter of who’s sitting in the White House, and both local law enforcement in border regions as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement are responsible for the way that undocumented migrants are treated.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the cofounders of both the Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media, and were arrested by former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2007 after they revealed grand jury proceedings that requested notes from reporters who were covering the notoriously anti-immigrant sheriff.

This wrongful arrest resulted in a settlement of $3.75 million, which Lacey and Larkin decided to use fund migrant rights organisations across Arizona.

Both journalists have spent their careers defending First Amendment rights, and when it was revealed that the grand jury had issued subpoenas seeking the identity of readers of New Times stories about Sheriff Arpaio the duo sued the county and eventually won in the Ninth Circuit. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/ and http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2014/12/16/proceeds-arpaio-suit-fund-asu-journalism-chair/20480479/

Protecting migrants was always an important issue, but with an administration that seems bent on pursuing restrictive immigration policies and deporting people it’s become all the more important. It’s notable that even before the days of Trump and his supporters, ICE detention centres engaged in unethical practices and had little regard for immigrant rights; with a president who’s prone to making racist generalisations, it seems inevitable that racial profiling will mean that even documented migrants stand a good chance of being harassed or even deported for merely existing.

Lacey and Larkin are busier than ever with their important work, and will likely remain so for the next four years. There are a lot of issues that migrants face when coming to the US and in terms of staying here, and protecting their rights as well as the children of immigrants looks to remain an important issue for years to come. As such, it’s vital to ensure everyone’s rights.