Over the last few years, civil and human rights activism in America has been reignited. This has been brought about by the fact that racism, police brutality and mass killings are still rampant.
Immigrants are also suffering an infringement of their human rights at the mercy of their employers, the police, and even the law. In an effort to raise awareness about the plight of the affected groups of people, organizations advocating for civil, human and migrant rights have been formed.
One of the most influential civil rights groups in the US is Arizona-based Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund. Established to fund groups that fight for migrant rights throughout Arizona, the group was founded by the co-founders of Phoenix New Times, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.
After writing an article exposing the misdeeds and abuse of power by the Sheriff in Maricopa County, the duo was arrested under mysterious circumstances on the night of October 18, 2007. Following a massive public outcry, the two were released from police custody in less than 24 hours, and all charges were dropped.
A court battle ensued after the duo decided to sue the county. It was later established that the subpoenas served upon the two were invalid because the prosecutor had disregarded the relevant legal procedures.
The two reporters won the case and were awarded $3.7 million as a settlement by the court. Lacey and Larkin decided to use the money to start the Frontera Fund; aimed at benefiting the Hispanic community that has suffered racial abuse and civil injustice in Arizona.
The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, also known as CHIRLA, is another organization famed for its efforts to protect civil and human rights of immigrants. Following enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986, CHIRLA was founded that same year. The organization’s objective is to achieve a just society, which incorporates immigrants.
While acknowledging that immigrants have limited access to legal immigration services, CHIRLA offers this service at low costs. Recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) as a provider of legal immigration services, CHIRLA has helped thousands of individuals to become citizens.
CHIRLA also ensures immigrants who have successfully acquired citizenships get work permits, and register as voters. CHIRLA has eased migrants’ transition into part of society.
Another renowned organization that seeks to protect human rights and civil liberties is Amazon Watch. Founded in 1996, Amazon Watch is an organization that aims to protect the human rights of indigenous people in the Amazon Basin.
By partnering with environmental organizations, the group protects the rights of humans and ecological systems in the Amazon Basin. In doing so, the organization has been able to save the cultural diversity and practices of the people in the basin.
The human rights of such indigenous people face constant threats at the hands of corporations, looking to advance their economic agenda at the expense of both humans and the environment.
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