How to Find Out if Someone Is Detained by Immigration

Male human hand touching fence mage descriptor

Dealing with the maze-like processes of the US immigration system can be quite a challenge, mainly when it concerns the detention of someone you care about. The urgent need to determine if a person is detained by immigration can cause significant stress. This is especially true for loved ones and family members in this unfortunate circumstance. Whether you’re attempting to track down a detained immigrant or want to familiarize yourself with the process, knowing where to begin is vital.

This blog is your go-to resource for figuring out how to find out if someone is detained by immigration. We’ll cut through the system’s complexities and give you straightforward advice on where to look for information. This guide will uncover everything from government online locator tools to working community support networks. We aim to prepare you with the know-how and resources necessary to tackle this tough situation.

What Does “Detained Immigrants” Mean?

Before you find an immigrant detained, you need to understand exactly what that means. Immigration detention is a part of the immigration process in the United States where various government agencies can detain noncitizens apprehended at the border or within the country. The conditions and procedures of detention can differ significantly depending on which agency is responsible for the individual.

Noncitizens in the U. S. can face deportation for breaking immigration law. ICE, under DHS, enforces these laws along with CBP at borders.

If ICE or CBP determines that a noncitizen has violated U. S. immigration law, they often place them in immigrant detention. They can do this if your loved one or family member:

  • Entered the US without authorization
  • Worded without a visa
  • Committed a crime
  • Overstayed a visa

How to Find Someone Detained By Immigration

Discovering that a loved one or friend may be in the custody of immigration authorities can be a distressing experience. The process of confirming their detention status can feel overwhelming, but with the right approach and information, it is possible to navigate through it. These steps will guide you through the process of how to find an immigrant detained by immigration.

Step 1: Gather Pertinent Information

Before conducting your search, it’s essential to gather all important details about your family member or loved one. Key information like their full legal name, country of birth, date of birth, Alien Registration Number (if known), and last known location can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your search. With these critical pieces of information, you’ll be better equipped to find out if someone is detained by immigration.

Step 2: Use the ICE Online Detainee Locator System

If you’re trying to find someone detained by immigration, one of the most straightforward ways is using the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Online Detainee Locator System (ODLS). This system is specifically designed for family members, legal representatives, or anyone else interested in finding individuals currently under ICE custody.

However, this online system isn’t always updated regularly and can’t be used to track the status of minors. You can only search for someone 18 years or older.

You can search using the detained individual’s Alien Registration Number and country of birth, or alternatively, by their full name and country of birth. It’s important to ensure that all information entered matches the official records to avoid discrepancies. You can find out if someone is detained by immigration by:

  • Using the Alien Registration Number and country of birth
  • Using the full name and country of birth (biographical information)

Step 3: Contact ICE ERO Field Offices

When the ODLS doesn’t deliver the desired results, your next move is to contact the nearest ICE Field Office. This is especially true when trying to locate a minor who has been detained by immigration.

Ensure you have all your information ready-they’ll likely ask for details to assist in their search. You can find a full list of ICE ERO offices here.

Step 4: Enlist Help from Non-Profits or Legal Assistance

Border fence with barbed wire.

When all efforts to find a detained immigrant have hit a dead end, turning to non-profit organizations specializing in immigration issues can help you to find someone detained by immigration. These organizations possess valuable resources and extensive networks that can prove instrumental in finding someone held in immigration detention.

Immigration lawyers and legal aid organizations can offer valuable support and potentially establish direct communication channels with detention centers. They can also provide essential legal representation when needed, ensuring that individuals receive the necessary guidance and advocacy for their human rights.

Unlike criminal cases where free legal representation is provided, immigrants must seek help from nonprofit organizations or private attorneys. Navigating the complex immigration system can be daunting, but having a knowledgeable attorney can make all the difference in ensuring fair treatment and due process.

Where to Find Someone Detained By Immigration

Even after you make contact with an ERO office, you may want to know which detention facility is holding your loved one. Keep in mind that the ERO offices are not detention facilities—you won’t be able to schedule check-ins or appointments to see find someone detained by immigration. If you want to see detained immigrants, you need to determine which detention facility they are currently in.

Contact your local ERO field office, and they should direct you to the location and institutions about visiting hours. You can find a complete list of ICE detention centers here. These locations are where to find someone detained by immigration.

How Long Can Immigration Hold You?

Unfortunately, noncitizens who don’t have legal status in the U.S. are not entitled to many protections. This means that ICE has a lot of leeway regarding detaining them. Detainees can be held for as long as it takes for their immigration law violation charges to be resolved, leaving the window of time wide open.

How Do You Release Someone from Immigration Detention?

Having a loved one in a detention center is undeniably heartbreaking. The good news is that with an immigration bail bond, you have the option to secure their release and bring them back home during this challenging period. By meeting certain criteria, you can issue a bond to facilitate their return and provide much-needed relief for both you and your family.

Get help from Liberty Immigration today!

Branch Office
  • Open 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. PST