The Young Center: Helping Immigrant Children In Arizona

The Young Center is an amazing non-profit that helps immigrant children. Pheonix Arizonal now has a Young Center office, as of 2016. Each year, there are many immigrant children who arrive in Arizona. These children are sometimes with an adult that is looking out for them, but sometimes on their own, smuggled in by adults who do not have their best interest at heart.

If apprehended, even the children that are with caring adults will be separated from these adults because Arizona does not have family prisons. The children that go through a court system are treated with laws that are the same as for adults. The Young Center is a civil rights organization that is working towards helping these vulnerable children.

The organization is fighting for changing the laws that apply to these children, so that the law will reflect that they are young, and developmentally very different than adults, and deserve unique treatment that accounts for their age. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:

The Young Center trains advocates who can help these children move through the court system. Without advocates, immigrant children are forced to navigate the complicated judicial system on their own without representation, which is inherently unfair from the get go.

In a system that is supposed to give each person a fair representation, this is an obvious flaw. The Young Center also works with other organizations to provide support and services to young immigrants. Many of the immigrant children arrive from Guatemala, and speak an indigenous language distinct from the Spanish spoken in Arizona. This makes their journey all the more difficult. Read more: Michael Larcey | Crunchbase

The isolating experience of not being able to understand a language spoken to you is a frightening one, especially for a child. Advocates can help children on many levels.

The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund is a donor to the Youth Center, and supports the important work that they are doing. The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund was started almost ten years ago. It is the result of a civil rights case that ended in settlement. In 2017, reporters Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin were each taken from their homes and put into jail. They were incarcerated because of a story which they exposed through a report in the local paper.

They were exposing mis-management and suspect financial activities within the Sheriffs office. The arrest incited national outcry, and ultimately was deemed unconstitutional.

Micheal Lacey and Jim Larkin were both reporters who did not shy away from reporting the news as they discovered it. They knew, better than most, that they had a constitutional right to freedom of speech.

Both men worked in the newspaper industry for many years prior to their arrest. Micheal Lacey started the Pheonix New Times with Jim Larkin as his business partner in the 1970s. Lacey acted as the head editor while Larkin took over advertising and managing the paper finances.

Micheal Lacey is from New Jersey, and moved to Arizona in order to attend College. Jim Larkin was born and raised in Pheonix, Arizona.


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