The Immigration and Reform Act of 1986 forbade the employment of undocumented workers. Some felt that the act opened the door for the abuse and exploitation of undocumented workers by employers. That same year the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) was formed as an attempt to thwart such exploitation. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2014/12/16/proceeds-arpaio-suit-fund-asu-journalism-chair/20480479/
Based in California CHIRLA’s objective is to create a society that is more accepting of immigrants while advocating for progressive social change. CHIRLA works to change public opinion regarding immigrants while striving to advance immigrant and human rights.
CHIRLA’s Civic Engagement program fosters voter education and involvement to affect change. Volunteers use phone calls and door to door canvassing to reach out to voters who CHIRLA believes are likely to be apathetic about exercising their franchise. These efforts have created a greater number of engaged voters who vote their conscience and for their family’s best interest.
Through the Immigrants in Action campaign, CHIRLA volunteers engage with registered voters in six different regions of California via phone banks and face to face at the voter’s front door. Voter education is the backbone of the Immigrants in Action initiative. Volunteers endeavor to change attitudes about immigrants as well as explaining initiatives that are on the ballot. CHIRLA offers voter registration on their web page. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Larcey | Crunchbase
The Community Education department at CHIRLA provides immigrants instruction to help them understand their civil and human rights while making them aware of legislation that may help them to become full members of society rather than having to live on the fringes of society.
Keeping immigrants aware of proposed legislation across all levels of government that is relevant to the interest of immigrants is one of the functions of the Community Education and Outreach program.
This program utilizes free information, seminars, presentations, and workshops the subjects of which are: Building Coalitions, Policy, Community Involvement, Labor Laws, and Community/Police relationships, and social service programs that benefit immigrants.
CHIRLA’s legal services department has helped thousands obtain citizenship, find loved ones and apply for benefits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.
Overseen by licensed lawyers Juris Doctors and paralegals CHIRLA’s Legal Services Department provides immigrants with low-cost legal help.
The Frontera Fund works with over twenty groups that advocate for civil migrant and human rights. The Frontera Fund is also devoted to promoting freedom of speech and civic involvement. In 1970 Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin started the Village Voice Media and began publishing an alternative weekly newspaper.
Articles and ads that appeared in the Village Voice led to the 2007 arrest of Lacey and Larkin by Joe Arpaio the sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County. The pretense for the arrests was a supposed violation of grand jury secrecy. The charges were ultimately dropped.
Larkin and Lacey sued Arpaio and Special Prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik for abuse of power and violation of Lacey and Larkin’s First Amendment Rights. In 2012 the pair won a 3.75 million-dollar settlement. That award would provide the seed money that established the Frontera Fund.