Below are resources for individuals and their families facing detention or at risk of deportation.
Resources for People Detained in the United States:
How do I find someone in U.S. immigration detention?
(1) ICE Detainee Locator (click here to access)
In 2010, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched this online tool with the ability to locate a person in immigration detention who is currently in ICE custody or who was released from ICE custody for any reason within the last 60 days.
We have found that the ICE Detainee Locator is not always accurate or up-to-date. We are here to help you! So, also contact Freedom for Immigrants at 385-212-4842.
(2) You may contact ICE’s Public Advocate by calling the ICE Community Helpline at 1-888-351-4024 during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
I do not have enough money to pay bills or visit my loved one, can you help?
Freedom for Immigrants may be able to help! We run a Direct Support Fund, which you can apply for.
The Direct Support Fund provides financial support to people in immigration detention, recently released from detention, and their families.
How do I find my loved one's U.S. Immigration court date?
Dial 1-800-898-7180. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), has created this Immigration Courts’ 800 Phone Number by which individuals can receive information about their cases through an automated system, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
How do I find a U.S. Immigration Attorney?
You can search by state, zip code, and detention facility and print, PDF and email results in 13 different languages.
(2) Free Legal Service Providers (click here for a list by state)
The U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review maintains a list of free legal service providers. The list notes the specific area in which each organization works.
(3) Free Legal Referral, Provided by the American Immigration Lawyers Association
You may also call the Immigration Lawyer Referral Service at (800) 954-0254 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and state your name, phone number, what kind of immigration lawyer you need (for example, detention-deportation defense), and the city and state in which you need the lawyer.
(4) If you choose not to use one of the above resources for locating an immigration attorney, please review USCIS’s website on how to avoid scams and take the following precautions:
Only go to an Attorney or a BIA Accredited Representative.
An Attorney must have a license to practice law – Ask to see their law license.
A BIA Accredited Representative must be accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and work for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which is recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals – Ask to see their accreditation documents.
Notarios, Notaries or Notary Publics are NOT Attorneys or BIA Accredited Representative and they cannot give legal advice.
To file a complaint against a Notario in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTCHELP (1-877-382-4357).
What is a U.S. Immigration Bond?
A “bond hearing,” which can sometimes occur on the same day as a “master calendar” hearing, is limited to deciding whether you can be released from detention by paying a “bond.”
A bond is an amount of money paid to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to guarantee that you will appear in court for all of your hearings and obey the order of the immigration judge.
If you attend all of your hearings, and obey the judge’s order, then the money will be returned to the person who paid the bond at the end of the proceedings (regardless of whether you win or lose). If you do not appear in court, the money is not returned and you may be ordered removed or deported by the immigration judge.
If you are in immigration detention, you may ask a judge to order your release under bond while your case is proceeding. However, the judge cannot order your release or set a bond if you were detained while entering the United States at a port of entry (but you can apply for parole if you are an asylum seeker) or if you have been convicted of serious crimes.
Most criminal convictions render you ineligible for bond and you will have to remain in detention while you fight your immigration case. We encourage you to seek attorney representation. If you cannot obtain an attorney, we encourage you to review this material for pro se litigants.
Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Jennings in February 2018, certain federal circuits allowed nearly everyone in immigration detention for six months or longer to see a bond hearing, including people with past criminal convictions. These bond hearings are no longer available, but the Supreme Court has remanded the case to the Ninth Circuit.
Learn more about Freedom for Immigrants’ National Bond Fund.
I have been granted asylum in the United States, now what do I do?
Call the referral line for persons granted asylum. If you have been granted asylum, you are eligible for assistance from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
These benefits and services include job placement, English language classes, cash assistance, and medical assistance.
If you have been granted asylum, call 1-800-354-0365 for information and referral to programs in your community. This line is a service for asylees only and provides information in 18 languages.
The referral line is a joint project of Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) and Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New York.
I or my loved one has been wrongfully deported, what can I do?
If you have been deported and need to speak to an attorney about options for returning, a great place to start is with The Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, based at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College. They provide direct representation to individuals who have been deported and promote the rights of deportees and their family members.
Resources for People Detained Anywhere in the World
How do I find someone in immigration detention?
(2) To locate immigrant prisons and jails in another country, visit the Global Detention Project.
(3) The Red Cross Tracing Service helps reconnect families separated by international crises.
(4) Please also contact Freedom for Immigrants at 385-212-4842 for assistance in locating a loved one.
My loved one is about to be deported, who can help us?
(2) We also have compiled additional resources for Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Jamaica. If you know of other resources in these or other countries, please email Cynthia Galaz at CGalaz@FreedomforImmigrants.org.
(3) The International Organization for Migration (IOM) also publishes country sheets.
The country sheets give an overview of relevant information for persons that are thinking about returning or are about to be deported to their country of origin. The information given covers various areas, such as health care, housing, education, employment, business opportunities, and transportation.
Please select a continent and then a country. Then, you will be able to download a country sheet with information in different languages:
What are the post-deportation risks?
Deportation impacts individuals and families in a number of ways. Please click on this guide outlining the kinds of post-deportation risks that people face in the hands of state agents upon return to their countries.
How do I help a loved one who was deported to Mexico?
"Caminamos Juntos" provides assistance to Mexican nationals who have been deported or who are facing deportation and need support. They will assist you in finding housing and employment in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and to adjust to living there.
How do I help a loved one who was deported to Mexico and needs medical attention?
There is a government agency CONASIDA (Spanish) that provides services for people who are HIV positive. There is extensive information on the website for Centro Nacional para la Prevencion y Control del VIH y el SIDA. Since this is a government program, participants may need a government ID or matricula.
o The Acciones y Programas part of the site gives information on available programs. This includes a directory of where services are available. Click here to learn more.
o The blog on this site also lists newly available medications.
CONDESA is another site with great information. Programs are listed in the Programas tab, but most are in D.F. Learn more here.
What are the rights of people with disabilities in immigration detention?
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), its components, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and their contractors are prohibited from discriminating against people with disabilities.
Importantly, this means that individuals arriving at airports and borders and detainees in federal, state, and private detention facilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations/modifications if necessary to avoid disability discrimination.
If you, your family member, or your client requires it due to a disability, request a “reasonable accommodation,” and state the disability and the reason it makes the requested accommodation necessary. To learn more, click on this resource by the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC).