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ICE introduces online detainee locator tool

ICE Detention Facility Detains And Deports Undocumented Aliens

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

An undocumented immigrant waits to be processed at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility Arizona.

Families and attorneys searching for immigrants held in detention by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can now use an online search tool to seek out their location, the agency has announced. The Online Detainee Locator System is similar to the search tool used to locate federal prisoners, and can be found on the agency’s website.

I tried it out this morning, searching for a detainee who has been held long-term in San Diego, and it worked: The detainee, a man from Kenya, is shown as still being in ICE custody at the privately-run Corrections Corporation of America detention center there. ICE holds a daily population of more than 30,000 detainees in a patchwork of detention facilities scattered around the country, the vast majority of these under contract with the agency. Detainees are often transferred between facilities, which has made it difficult for those trying to locate them. One immigrant rights organization created this interactive map with contact information for detention facilities.