The Frontera Fund and No More Death

As tensions rise and disdain for immigrants increases, members of the humanitarian group No More Deaths-Arizona dedicate themselves to standing in the gap for migrant workers and immigrants who have few resources. The group No More Deaths dates back to 2004 when a collective of faith-based and community groups in southern Arizona banded together to address the numerous deaths of immigrants and migrant workers in the desert.

Organization co-founder Reverend John Fife explains that No More Death sprang from the need for a consistent presence in the Arizona desert to prevent the mistreatment and deaths of migrant workers and other immigrants. The organization formally became a ministry of The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson in 2008.

No More Death’s mission is as clear as it is bold; to end death and affliction along the Mexico–US border via a civil initiative. Group members and other ethically enlightened individuals work visibly to defend fundamental human rights.

No More Death strives to bring their ideas for change into existence through several avenues including, consciousness raising, advocating for humane immigration policy, and direct aid and intervention. Volunteers place food, clean drinking water, and much-needed supplies on migrant trails.

Additionally, No More Death volunteers offer shelter and medical care to migrants. They record any accounts of groups harming the migrant workers. Moreover, No More Death volunteers work to help those migrants already deported.

No More Death receives financial support from the Mike Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund supports numerous organizations that promote human, migrant, and civil rights. Additionally, The Frontera Fund champions freedom of speech and civic participation. Working to safeguard these rights throughout the state of Arizona; particularly along the Arizona-Mexico border.

The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund came to be after the 2007 arrest of journalists Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio sent armed deputies to apprehend Lacey & Larkin in the middle of the night after they reported a grand jury proceeding seeking the notes of reporters writing about Sheriff Arpaio. After a large public outcry over the incarceration, the sheriff dismissed the charges within 24 hours.

A lengthy court battle ensued, and in 2012, The Ninth District Court of Appeals awarded Lacey and Larkin a 3.7 million dollar settlement based on the violation of the pair’s First Amendment rights. In a philanthropic action that serves the Hispanic immigrants and migrant workers, Lacey & Larkin used the settlement money to create the Frontera Fund.

Because of the dedication and hard work of No More Death volunteers and the generosity and civic mindedness of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, the lives of migrant workers improved and the death toll in the harsh Arizona desert reduced.