As the U.S. Senate debates immigration reform, the American Civil Liberties Union announced Wednesday that it has designated two full-time attorneys to litigate civil- and human-rights cases along the Mexican border.

One attorney, James Duff Lyall, started working in Tucson full time on Wednesday, an ACLU news release said. The other will work in San Diego.

"In the last eight years, as spending levels along the U.S.-Mexico border have increased dramatically, there has also been a significant increase in human- and civil-rights violations stemming from the lack of oversight of U.S. Customs and Border Protection," Alessandra Soler, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona, said in a news release.

For the first time, the border initiative will let the ACLU employ staff attorneys who will work solely on border cases, Soler said.