When one of our clients comes home to find a loved one is gone, the first question they may ask yourself is, “Where are they?”
But what if they weren’t able to find them at all?
As efforts by local and national governments ramp up to detain and deport undocumented immigrants, it’s more important than ever to know where your loved one are. That’s why we strongly encourage people to use the ICE Detainee Locator.
ICE has an “Online Detainee Locator” to locate people who are currently in ICE custody or have been released in the last 60 days, either into the community or deported from the U.S.
To use the locator, you can search by using your loved one’s:
- Full name
- Country of origin
- Birth date
- 9 digit A-number if it is known
If there is a match in the database, you can find out where your loved one is being held, and you can call the specified facility for more information.
What is an A-number?
Alien registration number. Upon application for green cards, visas, work authorization, and other immigration items, you are issued an alien registration number.
The A-number will be either an 8 or 9 digit number located on the front of your card. More than likely, it will looking something like this:
Who Would Need the ICE Detainee Locator?
Note:You can’t search the records for anyone under age 18.
Keep in mind, this tool may not have info on your friend or relative if he/she was just taken into ICE custody a few hours ago – paperwork may still be getting processed. However, within about 15 hours you should be able to access his/her information.
If you cannot find your loved one in the system, use the Detention Facility Locator to help you call the centers directly. They are willing and open to helping you find your loved ones as quickly as possible.
Diana Guerrero, cast member of “Orange is the New Black,” made headlines when she opened up about returning home to an empty house at age 14. Her parents had been detained by immigration officers while she was at school. Her neighbors were the ones to fill her in on where her parents were, and yet no government officials communicated with her or ensured her safety. Without her neighbors, she would’ve had no idea where her family was. Her parents were ultimately deported and she was taken in by a friend’s family.
This is not an anomaly in the current U.S. immigration system. In fact, over 72,000 parents of citizen children were deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2013. That same year, a total of 438,421 individuals were detained and deported. That means there were thousands of families and communities who returned to find their loved one vanished, without knowing where they were being held.
The ICE Online Detainee Locator helps people locate their loved ones who have been detained. Before, one would have to spend hours, even days, calling detention centers and trying to get information from guards and officials.
Although it’s never easy to learn that your loved one has been detained, it is good to be able to find your loved ones and know where they can be located. If you need further assistance, contact the immigration attorneys at Salmón and Haas.