ICE On-Line Detainee Locator System
ICE convened a meeting in DC on Friday January 29th to demonstrate its On-line Detainee Locator System (ODLS) to advocates and to get feedback. ICE plans to make the system live in June and would like to get stakeholder feedback as soon as possible.
There will be a link to the ODLS page from the dhs.gov website. On the ODLS page, there will be two ways to search for a detainee.
- By entering an A# and Country of Birth Or
- By entering first name, last name and Country of Birth (with an option to enter a Date of Birth in order to narrow results)
The response page will show IN CUSTODY or OUT OF CUSTODY. If IN CUSTODY, the system will show the name of the facility, with a link to its webpage with information about directions and visiting hours. It will show where the individual is currently being held, not previous places they were held. If OUT OF CUSTODY, the system will not provide any additional specifics.
- will be doing a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) (see dhs.gov/privacy)
- will be doing a Privacy Act Records Notice (probably in May), because the ODLS will be using information from the ENFORCE database
–There may be detainees who do not want their information to be searchable online, such as victims of violence and asylum-seekers. Legal Momentum provided ICE with helpful information about this issue. ICE weighed privacy/confidentiality issues; ultimately decided that the need for families/attorneys to find detainees outweighed the privacy issues. However, ICE is still interested in receiving more input from stakeholders on this issue. An opt-in/opt-out option may be possible.
Ultimately the ODLS will become more sophisticated. It will tie into the ICE internal locator system, and will be able to send an automatic email to the attorney of record or family when an individual is moved.
Q & A Responses
- Every ICE facility will be on the list.
- They are not looking into doing a telephone locator system.
- Right now they are unsure how quickly the system would be updated when an individual is detained/released/moved, but when the system is live that will be in the FAQs.
- A person being held on a detainer in a local jail would not be in the locator system (not in system until physically in ICE custody).
- The system does not lock out. A user can make unlimited entries. However, to prevent repeated automated computer searches, the ODLS will use a security device called a CAPTCHA. (You may have seen a CAPTCHA if you buy tickets from ticketmaster or forward an article from a newspaper.)
- In terms of languages, they are looking at how USCIS has translated their website.
- In terms of making the ODLS accessible to family members who do not have computers, ICE is considering whether Infopass kiosks could also be used for an ODLS search.
ICE wants Feedback
- ICE is taking suggestions for how to narrow down search results. However, they need to leverage ENFORCE to do this search, so the narrowing factor must be information that ENFORCE already collects.
- Send ICE suggested FAQs or potential problems you see with the system including (as noted above) confidentiality concerns.
- Send questions/concerns/comments to Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, ICE Special Assistant on Outreach and Policy, at Andrew.Strait@dhs.gov.
These are my notes from the meeting–all errors are mine.