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Florence Project

The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights 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. Although the government assists indigent criminal defendants and civil litigants through public defenders and legal aid attorneys, it does not provide attorneys for people in immigration removal proceedings. 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.


The Florence Project was born in the 1980s, when countless immigrants crossed the Arizona-Mexico border fleeing violence and persecution in Central America. Instead of finding safety, they were met with the harsh reality of detention and a confusing legal system. Since immigrants do not have the right to a public defender, most were forced to navigate the legal process on their own without the help of a lawyer. The Florence Project has grown from one office with a staff of two people to three offices with 70 staff. With your support, we continue to provide free legal and social services to thousands of immigrant men, women and children detained in Arizona on any given day. We remain a national leader in creating innovative service models and legal strategies to increase access to justice. You can donate to the Florence Project here.