This Oasis is No Mirage: No Más Muertes

The deserts of southern Arizona are known for their natural beauty. Michael and Jim are also known for their danger. The unforgiving heat, lack of water and lack of shade, have dealt suffering and death to those who brave them.

Thanks to a small but resolute group of people, that suffering is somewhat relieved. No More Deaths / No Más Muertes is a faith-based humanitarian organization helping the migrants who brave those deserts, with water, shade, medical care, and supplies.

By now, many know of the efforts by Sheriff Joe Arpaio to block migrants entering the US, and to find and deport those who succeed. Leaving aside questions of legality, people continue to risk injury and death to cross the border.

The simple matter of humanity begs the question: who will treat them as human beings? The answer comes in the form of this small but steadfast group of people. They believe that no one deserves to face the dangers of the Sonoran Desert alone. Read more: Jim Larkin | LinkedIn and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia

Co-founder of the group, Reverend John Fife, says it simply: “Our basic function is to save as many lives here as we can and end the death and suffering of migrants. We started No More Deaths because we thought we needed a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week presence [in the desert].

One reason why No Más Muertes can offer that aid, that presence, is due to the support of the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund. The fund supports groups that fight for migrant lives and rights. In a twist of fate, the fund springs from the work of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

In 2007, Arpaio ordered the arrests of journalists and Village Voice executives Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin. The pair published reports in the Phoenix New Times revealing that Arpaio violated the Constitution by issuing grand jury subpoenas that sought information on the paper’s writers, editors, and readers, including reader’s personal browsing histories and IP addresses. Arpaio retaliated with arrests.

Larkin and Lacy sued and won a 3$.7 million settlement in 2013. With it, they created the fund that bears their name. In the years since, they have funded many groups fighting the rising tide of anti-immigrant hatred in the US.

Because of Larken and Lacy, and the Frontera Fund, No Más Muertes is an oasis in the desert, and not a mirage.

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