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How Do I Find Someone Who Has Been Detained by ICE?

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How Do I Find Someone Who Has Been Detained by ICE?

There are over 200 immigrant jails and detention centers in the US. It is terrifying to learn a loved one has been detained by ICE, or the Immigration Customs and Enforcement agency. With so many centers, you may feel lost when trying to find out where they are and determine what is happening.

There are many reasons why someone may be detained. There is also an online locator to help family and friends find someone detained, though it doesn’t always give answers. If you have a friend or loved one detained by ICE, you may want to consider speaking to an immigration attorney about your options. Contact our office at 312-767-8611 to request a consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.

What Does It Mean If Someone is Detained by ICE?

When ICE detains someone, it means they are being held due to an immigration matter. This could be an illegal entry into the US, a mandatory hold, or a problem with a visa. ICE also detains immigrants subject to removal or deportation. People detained by ICE are held at a detention center until trial or the issue is resolved.

What Happens When Detained by ICE?

When detained by ICE, the person is taken into custody and held in the detention center. This could be for days to months, depending on the situation. If someone is detained for illegal entry into the US or for breaking immigration laws, they likely will face removal or deportation.

How to Find Someone Detained by ICE with ODLS:

ICE has an online detainee locator system (ODLS). This system can be accessed 24/7 and is updated daily. It can take 24 hours for a new detainee to enter the system. The online locator system is the best place to start after ICE detains someone. There are two ways to search for someone:

Search by Personal Information

You can search for someone with their name, country of origin, and birthdate. The first and last names must match exactly to find the person you seek. It’s best to check with and without spaces for hyphenated names if you are not finding a result.

Search by Alien Registration Number

The other option is to search for someone using their A-number. This is their alien registration number issued by the Department of Homeland Security. This number is found on employment authorization or residency cards. It is a 9-digit number. When using this option, you must also provide the country of birth.

What If You Can’t Find Someone In the Locator System?

More than likely, if you are not finding someone in the database, it is because of one of these reasons:

  • A spelling error
  • The system hasn’t updated since the detainee was entered (it takes up to 8 hours)
  • Incorrect information
  • Using the wrong search bar
  • They are no longer in the system (detainee information is kept for 60 days after release)

If you still struggle to find someone detained, it may be time to ask for outside assistance. The embassy in the person’s birth country can likely help find them.

How Long Can ICE Detain Someone?

Many factors impact how long ICE can detain someone. If they were arrested for a crime, the time would likely be longer than a visa issue. When detained by ICE, the detainee is subject to an investigation. If they are found to be in the country illegally, have expired documents, or return after removal, they face an immigration trial to remove them.

If you fear the detainee will be deported or removed, it’s critical you speak to an immigration attorney as soon as possible. They have many forms of deportation defense that may be able to help them stay in the US. While ICE detention is scary and overwhelming, there may still be hope. Ibrahim Law wants to help you understand your legal rights and options with this matter, so contact us today.

Can I Visit a Friend or Family Member Being Detained by ICE?

Yes, visits are allowed by family members, friends, consular officials, and legal representatives. Once you have found someone in the online locator database, you will determine which facility they are held at. You can find contact information, visitation guidelines, and the officer in charge of their case contact details.

If you must travel to visit a detainee, calling first and ensuring the visitation policies haven’t changed may be a good idea. Many facilities changed protocols during COVID-19. We encourage you to visit detainees if possible. Being detained is a traumatic experience, and visits from loved ones can help with their mental health.

It’s also important to note that visiting an ICE detention center gives the agency the right to conduct a background check on you. If you are also an immigrant, they can detain you or start removal proceedings if you are here illegally.

What Are Detainee Rights When In an ICE Detention Center?

People detained by ICE have the following rights:

  • An immigration hearing
  • A lawyer (the government does not provide lawyers for immigrants)
  • To disclose immigration status to officers
  • Ability to call the consulate
  • Request for release on bond
  • Requesting a lower bond amount if you cannot pay it
  • To call and visit with friends, family, lawyers, and consulates

The consulate from the detainee’s home country can help them to find a lawyer and navigate the situation. If they are unable or unwilling to call the consulate, they can call family members or lawyers directly for assistance.

Detention centers are supposed to be non-punitive. Detainees should be treated fairly and humanely when in these centers. If they are not, you may want to contact an attorney.

How Do I Find Out If a Detainee Was Deported?

Unfortunately, the locator system doesn’t indicate if someone was deported. A family member or legal representative can contact the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) agency to determine if a detainee was deported. The locator system also shows the ERO office responsible for the immigrant.

FAQs About ICE Detention:

Read more about the most popular questions people have about ICE detention below:

How Many ICE Detention Centers Are in the USA?

There are 200+ ICE detention centers in the USA. You can search all the locations here. The online detainee locator tells which center the detainees are located.

Can a US Citizen Be Detained by ICE?

In theory, no. ICE cannot detain US citizens. However…ICE has the authority to detain anyone they suspect is a threat to national security. Sometimes, this means US citizens are detained. ICE agents must have reasonable suspicion that the citizen was an illegal alien.

Why Are People Detained by ICE?

There are many reasons ICE may detain someone. The following are the most common reasons:

  • Entering the USA unlawfully
  • Suspect in a crime
  • Missing an immigration hearing
  • Overstaying a visa
  • Those with a pending removal order
  • Suspected threat to security
  • Mandatory detention

Each situation is unique. If you are unsure why ICE detained someone you care for, it’s best to search for them in the system and go from there to find as much information as possible.

Is the ICE Detainee Database Accurate?

Mostly, yes, but there is a delay after updating the information. Sometimes, the information takes 8 hours to show up in the system. New detainees are usually in the system after 24 hours.

How Can Ibrahim Law Help Clients?

Ibrahim Law helps clients with immigration matters, including deportation defense, residency, and visas. Michael Ibrahim has the expertise clients need to navigate immigration courts and laws without making a misstep. Read more about the benefits of working with Michael Ibrahim below:

Protect Your Rights

As an immigrant, you have rights. Many people are degraded or mistreated during ICE detention, which is unacceptable. Hiring an immigration lawyer helps protect clients' rights while ensuring they have all open opportunities.

Legal Expertise

Michael Ibrahim has extensive immigration law expertise. He has helped numerous clients with their immigration matters. He speaks four languages (English, Spanish, Arabic, and Syriac) and can help resolve global immigration issues across 135 countries. He supports clients with the following:

  • Green cards
  • Residency applications
  • Deportation defense
  • American citizenship
  • Appeals
  • Asylum
  • Visas

Michael Ibrahim has helped over 1,000 people obtain green cards and 500+ people avoid deportation. He wants to help you, too. Contact his office at 312-767-8611 to request a free consultation.

Case Preparation

Michael Ibrahim helps his clients prepare for interviews and trials. He is well-versed in immigration laws and leverages that knowledge to create strong, complete applications for his clients. He is proud to help immigrants start their new paths in the US.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

If you have a loved one detained by ICE, Ibrahim Law may be able to help. We understand how frustrating and scary the situation is. We work hard to help as many clients as possible with immigration troubles in the US. If you want to speak to an attorney in more detail about your immigration matter, schedule a consultation today.

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*Please note: We require a consultation fee. The consultation fee will be credited towards our service fees.*

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