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Locating Your Loved One in ICE Detention: 7 Things You Should Know

Locating Your Loved One in ICE Detention: 7 Things You Should Know

When a loved one gets taken by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for one reason or another, it can be devastating. You are probably struggling with a great deal of fear and confusion, which is unfortunately exacerbated by the miles of bureaucratic red tape you are poised to fight through just to get some answers. The first answer you will need, however, is where your loved one is being held. ICE operates and contracts with detention facilities throughout the country, and you probably will have no clue which facility your loved one has been taken to. Fortunately, ICE has developed an online system to help you locate exactly where your loved one is being held so that you can visit and help ensure they are getting fair treatment and proper legal guidance with regard to their case. When a close friend or family member gets detained by ICE, no matter the cause, it is vital that you move quickly to discover where they are located and to enlist sound legal guidance to help protect your loved one’s rights. Below we have detailed seven things you should know about ICE’s Online Detainee Locator System (ODLS): 1) The Online Detainee Locator System, or ODLS for short, is a digital registry of all people being held in detention facilities in the US by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The system is located at this link on the ICE website. 2) In order to use the ODLS, you do not have to sign up yourself or register with any personal information. People are sometimes hesitant to reach out through ICE to locate their loved one for fear that they themselves may be faced with serious immigration consequences. Fortunately, using the ODLS is anonymous and you can locate your loved one without fear of any legal issues yourself. 3) There are two different ways you can search for your loved one within the ODLS. Firstly, you can search by using your loved one’s A-Number. The A-Number is their Alien Registration Number. This is a nine-digit number that is issued to anyone seeking immigration benefits or going through enforcement proceedings and can be found on their Notice To Appear form. You will need to enter their A-Number as well as their Country of Birth. ICE suggest that this is the most reliable way to locate your loved one in detention. 4) The second way you can search for the detention facility in which your loved one is being held is by entering biographic information about them. If you do not know their A-Number, you will need to enter their full first and last name as well as their country of birth. You can optionally enter their date of birth to improve your chances of locating your loved one. 5) The ODLS cannot be used to search for anyone under the age of 18. If a juvenile has been taken into custody by ICE, they do not make the location of that juvenile’s detention facility publicly available. You will likely need the assistance of an attorney to help you located where the youth is being held. 6) The ODLS can be used to locate someone who is currently in ICE custody, or someone who has been released from ICE custody in the last 60 days. If the individual you are searching for was released more than 60 days ago, no record of their detention will be found within the online system. 7) Information on the ODLS is kept surprisingly up to date. ICE claims that the system is updated at least every 8 hours and as often as every 20 minutes at times. If you or a loved one has been detained by ICE, it is absolutely vital that you move quickly to enlist the services of a skilled immigration attorney to help you avoid adverse repercussions like deportation. Please contact Landerholm Immigration today to set up a free consultation to discuss your case and your options.

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