Advocates for illegal immigrants have often complained that once someone is taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), it can be difficult to find where the person is being held.
In response, ICE today announced the creation of the Online Detainee Locator System, a public, Internet-based tool designed to assist family members, attorneys and other interested parties in locating detained aliens in custody.
The system, linked to ICE’s homepage www.ice.gov, allows users to search for detainees by name, country of birth and date of birth, or by their alien registration number (often referred to as the “A” number).
It provides information on the location of the detention facility, a phone number to the facility and contact information for the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations office in the region.
Directions on how to use the system are available in English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic and Somali.
In August 2009, ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton announced that the agency was undertaking sweeping reforms of the immigration detention system, including improvements in medical and mental healthcare and conditions of confinement.