Oral Histories

Dublin Core


Oral Histories


Noncitizen detention centers
Detention of persons--Law and legislation
Deportation--Law and legislation


“DETAINED: Voices from the Migrant Incarceration System” is an oral history project archiving the narratives of asylum seekers formerly incarcerated in Arizona. Interviews were conducted and recorded over the phone with formerly detained people across the U. S. and Latin America who had received support from the Florence Project during their detainment.




Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project




2021 - 2023


CC BY-NC 4.0







Has Format


Spatial Coverage

United States – Arizona – Pinal County – Florence
United States – Arizona – Pinal County – Eloy
United States – Arizona – Pinal County – La Palma
United States – Arizona – Pima County


The oral history archive is for those who have experienced detainment and those in their communities (such as friends and family members). Other audiences include activists, students, researchers, policy-makers, artists, writers, and the general public.

Rights Holder

OH Narrators

Collection Items

Oral History with Rodrigo
In this interview, Rodrigo shares the hardships of ICE detention as a father who grew up in Phoenix and missed 1.5 years of his young son's childhood. He overcame addiction in detention after being arrested for shoplifting during a time of depression…

Oral History with Rodolfo
In this interview, Rodolfo discusses leaving Mexico because of threats against his life, crossing back and forth across the U.S.-Mexico border, turning himself in to Border Patrol, being detained, dealing with separation from family, and making a new…

Oral History with Elvín
In this interview, Elvín discusses his experience living with an abusive family in Guatemala, traveling across Mexico and crossing the US border in 2015, being detained in a children's shelter for minors after being apprehended by immigration…

Connie, a Canadian immigrant, shares her experience ending up in immigration detention because of a bench warrant. She talks about the discrimination she observed against non-English speaking migrants, her own deportation, and the work she has done…

In this interview, Perla reflects on a trip to Mexico where criminals planted drugs in her car without her knowledge. She was arrested, and shares the challenges of being detained for a year by ICE. Having grown up in Illinois, she had never met…

In this interview, Afshin reflects on fleeing Iran after being targeted as a supporter of the political opposition. He shares the hardship and lonelines of being displaced in Latin America, and experiencing bigotry from Border Patrol at the U.S.…
View all 6 items


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