Before the DREAM Act, there was the proposed ACHIEVE Act. However, unlike the DREAM Act, the ACHIEVE Act did not have provisions through which young immigrants would become a citizen. Former Senator Jon Kyl insinuated that many immigrants could become citizens through marriage sparking a massive debate in 2012. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter
In the US, a spouse who is already a citizen can help the other obtain citizenships. Senator Kyl’s comments led to the formation of the Citizen4Me platform that enabled young immigrants share their thoughts and pictures.
Undocumented migrants go through a rigorous process to obtain residency. There are qualifications that one has to meet to adjust status. By 2015, the estimated number of undocumented immigrants was 11 million undocumented.
Many immigrants desire the opportunity to pursue education further or better themselves. In fact, the longing for better prospects is the reason why most people leave their countries. Deliberate actions by states and federal governments to support these pursuits such as the DREAM act have been a relief for many.
Immigrating to another country exposes one to benefits and challenges in equal measure. Most undocumented immigrants cannot access well-paying jobs, healthcare, education or let alone meet their needs. Immigrants also have to abide by the legislation in the host country or state even though they may not always be favorable. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/relevant-links/
Immigrant profiling and discrimination are also some of the challenges faced. In many instances, human, civic and migrant rights groups have had to step in to fight for the freedoms of the immigrants.
The Lacey and Larkin Frontera fund founded in 2007, seeks to provide a voice for the minority in the state of Arizona and other areas. Founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin decided to channel the money received as settlement for wrongful detention towards a fund that could address issues faced by the minority.
Before the Frontera fund, the two media executives championed for the rights of others through print media. Mike and Jim highlighted the plight of the jails in Maricopa County and how Latinos became wrongfully profiled.
Through partnerships with other organizations like the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, Aliento, and Justice that Work, the Frontera Fund advocates for the rights of the others. The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund also supports events such as Can the Border Divide Us, arts exhibitions, lectures and panel discussions that address the plight of immigrants.
The Arizona Dream Act Coalition prioritizes the fight for access to higher education for immigrants. According to the Arizona state laws also known as Prop 300, undocumented immigrant students have to pay out-of-state tuition fees and are ineligible for public scholarships. As a result, some students in the state have had to drop out. Aliento which is youth-led works around healing through advocacy and art. Read more; Michael Lacey | Twitter
The International Justice Resource Center also helps immigrants by providing skills, guidance, and information to assist them in acquiring accountability and justice.
The human rights organization has an online resource platform that has legal materials, advocacy support information and training manuals to educate immigrants on rights. The objective of IJRC is to ensure the protection of rights and freedom through empowering others.
The journey towards improving one’s life can be challenging especially for immigrants. As such it is crucial to help them access fundamental rights and freedoms.