When a person is detained by the ICE authorities, family and friends can have difficulties finding where exactly that person is being detained. That’s a major cause for concern and because of that, the US government has set up a page where people can locate any detainee that is currently in detention or has been held in the last 60 days. Below you will find information about the Online Detainee Locator System, its main features, options, and advice on how to locate someone.
What Is the ICE Detainee Locator System?
The Detainee Locator System is part of the ICE government website. It has a traditional color theme similar to the other official US government sites. It’s simple to navigate the website, and people can perform searches in English as well as eight other languages. The languages available are Arabic, Russian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Somali, Chinese, Vietnamese, and of course, English.
The best chance of locating a detainee is by researching via the A-number. This is a nine-digit code that has been assigned to each detainee. The search by A-number requires the searcher to know the place of birth of the person.
“A-number” stands for alien number and it’s appointed to each immigrant. However, some immigrants can have more than one A-number assigned to them. One A-number is always assigned to the employment authorization document also known as a work permit. This is usually the same number that is on the permanent resident card or green card. But if a person gets detained by immigration authorities, they may get assigned another A-number to them.
If the immigrant has made some changes to their documents over the years, they could have several A-numbers assigned to them, and one can lose track of the latest active number. So, when searching a detainee by their A-number, it is smart to check some of their documents and find as much as you can about their A-numbers.
You should note that the search locator does not search for underage persons, and to be able to find a detainee through this system, the person your searching for must be over the age of 18.
A detainee can also be searched in the Locator System by their names and other personal info. An important thing to remember when researching a detainee by their personal information is that you will need to be very accurate with your search inputs. You’ll need to enter the right name, surname, country of birth, and exact date of birth. You should be very precise, as sometimes, the names entered in the locator system can differ slightly.
What Happens When Detained?
A family member will usually get a call from immigration authorities informing them of a person’s detention. If this happens, ask the official in which location the person is being detained. Also, you should ask for your relative’s A-number. Asking for this will significantly increase your chances of locating your family member as expedited as possible.
Many things could go wrong during the detention process and your family member could end up spending several days in detention by mistake. Depending on the time of detention, it may take a long time to get processed and entered into the system. Depending on the reason behind detained action, there could other complications and it can take several days to find your family member. Don’t give up on your searches and if you need help or assistance, do not hesitate to contact an immigration lawyer. We’re here to help.