In collaboration with the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, Melanie Pate successfully represented two LGBT immigrants from Cuba who were seeking asylum in the United States.
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. 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.