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ICE Launches On-Line Detainee Locator: @NIJC Collecting Comments/Complaints

August 4, 2010

via Helen Harnett of NIJC:

On Friday July 23, 2010, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched its On-Line Detainee Locator System.  The system allows attorneys, family members, and other individuals to locate noncitizens who are in ICE custody.  ICE has stated that the system includes all facilities where it detains immigrants.  The system does not include individuals held in state or local custody under an ICE detainer, as they are not physically in ICE custody.  The system is updated within 8 hours of an apprehension or transfer within ICE custody.

The locator can be found here https://locator.ice.gov/odls/homePage.do or on the right-hand side of ICE’s website at www.ice.gov.  On the locator webpage, clicking a box on the right-hand side of the page allows one to choose whether to view the page in English or Spanish (ICE helpfully translates “John Doe” as “Juan Perez.”).  On the left-hand side of the page, there is a link to a “frequently asked questions” page (this page appears to be available only in English).  Also on the left-hand side, the “brochure” link leads to a webpage that provides an explanatory brochure about the locator system (the brochure is provided in 9 languages).

Although the new on-line detainee locator system overall seems quite effective, a number of individuals have already had difficulties with the system, particularly if the A# is unknown.  In order to ensure that complaints are effectively presented to ICE, the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is collecting complaints about the locator system.   Complaints/concerns may be sent to Helen Harnett at hharnett(at)heartlandalliance.org.  Please be specific about the problem that you encountered.  Please also share recommendations on how ICE can improve the frequently asked questions page. Comments/concerns from detained immigrants about how they were informed about the locator system are of course also welcome.

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