The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project provides free legal services to people, including unaccompanied children, in immigration custody in Arizona. 86% of detained people go through immigration removal proceedings without legal representation because of poverty. The Florence Project strives for all immigrants facing removal to have access to counsel, to understand their rights, and to be treated fairly and humanely.
The Florence Project was founded in the 1980s in response to Central American immigrants, who have no rights to public defense, trying to navigate the US legal process on their own after crossing the Arizona-Mexico border attempting to flee persecution. Through the years they have expanded their programing to include focused asylum case support, empowerment models to help people represent themselves more effectively, and legal services for unaccompanied minors. They also expanded to address social service needs for clients and training for public defenders.
The Florence Project was a beneficiary of FBB’s Call to Action: Family Separation at the Border. They are featured again as the Human Rights beneficiary this year because the family separation crisis is complex, ongoing, and a blatant human rights violation. The Florence Project is a leader on this issue with 20 years of experience supporting detained children in deportation proceedings.
Amnesty International: USA: Policy of separating children from parents is nothing short of torture
New York Times: Taking Migrant Children From Parents Is Illegal, U.N. Tells U.S.
Human Rights Watch: US Reaches Agreement in Family Separation Cases