Through the newly created Immigrant Detention Advocacy Project, the ACLU of Arizona will document civil and human rights abuses in immigration detention centers and advocate on behalf of detainees in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody in Arizona.

ICE detains 3,000 men, women and children in Arizona on any given day. The detained immigrant population in Arizona makes up 10% of immigrants detained nationwide with Arizona having the third largest number of people in ICE custody. It is estimated that approximately 440,000 people will be detained by immigration authorities nationwide in 2009.

Many of those detained in Arizona are asylum-seekers, longtime lawful permanent residents, and even U.S. citizens. Of particular concern to the ACLU-AZ are cases of persons subjected to months and even years of detention without meaningful review, as well as the persistent and severely deficient conditions in the Arizona detention centers and the lack of meaningful oversight and accountability in the immigration detention system.