AALDEF

AALDEF AND THE FRONTERA FOUNDATION: DEFENDERS OF LIBERTY

Since its formation in 1974, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) has consistently been on the defense against the violation of the liberty rights of members of the Asian community residing in the US.B

y amalgamating litigation, education, advocacy, and organizing, the organization works in close coordination with US citizens of Asian origin to ensure that justice and civil rights are served. Learn more about Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427427/Jim_Larkin

The primary focus of AALDEF lies on elementary issues facing Asian in the United States such as; civic participation and voting rights, immigrant rights, language access to services, residence and environmental justice, educational equity, economic justice for workers and the eradication of racial harassment, police misdemeanor, and human trafficking.

Essentially, AALDEF performs the following functions:

  • Litigation of significant cases affecting the Asian American community
  • Provision of legal assets for community-based institutions and the facilitation of grassroots community organization.
  • Provision of free legal advice for poor Asian Americans and new migrants in a language that is easy to understand.
  • Enlightenment of Asian Americans on issues regarding their legal rights.
  • Provision of relevant commentary on proposed laws and government policies.
  • Provision of training on public interest law to students and mentoring trainees to serve their community.

In addition to the existing 15-person staff, the achievement of these objectives is aided by over 300 volunteers, who are comprised of Pro Bono attorneys, students, and community workers.

Despite the lack of governmental support, AALDEF has managed to help safeguard the rights of many Asian Americans. This is facilitated by financial aid from various corporations, fundraising events, and individual contributions.

The course undertaken by AALDEF is a noble one and has helped protect many Asians living in the US from civil rights violation. Such is the course undertaken by Lacey and Larkin in their Frontera fund. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Larcey | Crunchbase

After being arrested by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, they dedicated the resultant settlement money to the funding of all organizations in Arizona fighting for human rights. The $3.75 million was remitted as compensation for an inappropriate arrest by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

On October 18, 2007, the two were unlawfully arrested in the middle of the night following their latest publication at that time, which revealed the existence of grand jury proceedings that appealed for journalist’s notes on articles that covered the sheriff.

What was even more alarming about the arrest was the fact that grand jury subpoenas ordered the revelation of identities of all citizens who read the New Times online article involving the sheriff.

As a result of the unwarranted arrest and the ridiculous demands tabled by the grand jury, Lacey and Larkin filed a lawsuit against the state for the violation of their first amendment rights. It was a lawsuit in which they prevailed in the United States Court of Appeals, and as a result, the Frontera Fund was born.

The fund is intended to support advocate groups and organizations fighting against the violation of human, civil and migrant rights, as well as civic participation and freedom of speech in Arizona, including the Mexican border.

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