The mission of the Florence Project is to provide free legal and social services to detained adults and unaccompanied children facing immigration removal proceedings in Arizona.
The vision of the Florence Project is to ensure that all immigrants facing removal have access to counsel, understand their rights under the law, and are treated fairly and humanely.
For over thirty years, the Florence Project has pursued empowerment and justice for detained immigrants in Arizona. Because detained immigrants do not have a right to a public defender and generally go unrepresented due to poverty, we pioneered the Legal Orientation Program, which serves as a national blueprint for the delivery of “Know Your Rights” presentations to people in ICE detention and empowers them to represent themselves and prepare their cases.
We offer direct legal representation to hundreds of adults and unaccompanied children each year, including adults who live with severe mental illnesses and are deemed incompetent by a judge to represent themselves in their immigration cases. Our social services team provides critical support to address our clients’ needs outside their legal cases, including pursuing their rights to medical and mental health care, family reunification, and in transitioning out of detention.
In addition to providing legal and social services, we advocate for systemic change through our border partnerships, appellate and district court cases, and policy advocacy. We are known nationally for being innovative, fierce advocates who ground our work in the human dignity and resilience of our clients.
Grandparents reunited with their granddaughter after winning freedom from detention
Many immigrants come to the U.S. fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries, only to suffer
further in dehumanizing and isolating conditions in detention centers. Without the right to a public defender,
these individuals may be deported back to the unsafe situations they fled. The Florence Project is a lifeline to
detained adults and children, providing pro bono legal and social services to ensure they do not face this battle
on their own.
On any given day, 5,000
immigrant adults and children are
detained in Arizona.
An estimated 86% of detained
people go unrepresented due
Detained immigrants with
representation were four times more
likely to be released from detention.
The Florence Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit legal service organization providing free legal and social services to adults and unaccompanied children in immigration custody in Arizona. The government does not provide public defenders to people in immigration detention. As a result, an estimated 86 percent of the detained people go unrepresented due to poverty. The Florence Project strives to address this inequity both locally and nationally through direct service, partnerships with the community, and advocacy and outreach efforts.
Stay up to date with the Florence Project and our unwavering fight for immigrants' rights.