How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

ICE to detainees: If you're a U.S. citizen, call (855) 448-6903

It doesn't have the same memorable ring as the "867-5309" of 1980s pop fame, but here's a number to remember in case you happen to be a U.S. citizen who lands in immigration custody: (855) 448-6903.

It's a toll-free detainee hotline being introduced today by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, announced in the wake of recent complaints about the accidental detention of U.S. citizens. The hotline is part of "new measures to ensure that individuals being held by state or local law enforcement on immigration detainers are properly notified about their potential removal from the country and are made aware of their rights," according to the agency. The new guidelines also stipulate a 48-hour limit on the time law enforcement agencies may hold detainees for ICE. From an agency news release:

The new measures include a new detainer form and the launch of a toll-free hotline " (855) 448-6903 " that detained individuals can call if they believe they may be U.S. citizens or victims of a crime.

The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by ICE personnel at the Law Enforcement Support Center. Translation services will be available in several languages from 7 a.m. until midnight (Eastern) seven days a week. ICE personnel will collect information from the individual and refer it to the relevant ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office for immediate action.

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