In order to find someone in detention, at a minimum you must have the person’s full name, date of birth and country of origin. Immigrants in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody are assigned an “A Number” or “Alien Number.” A numbers begin with the letter “A” and are followed by 8-9 numbers. This number is extremely helpful in order to locate someone in custody and to find out what is happening in the person’s case. ICE has an online “Detainee Locator” website that can be accessed at: https://locator.ice.gov/odls/homePage.do. Using either the person’s full name, date of birth, and country of origin or his or her A number, you may be able to find information about where this person is being detained. You can also call the ICE field office for the region where you suspect your loved one is detained. These numbers can be accessed at: http://www.ice.gov/contact/ero/. The number for the San Francisco Field Office is (415) 844-5512. If the person’s name is misspelled or he or she is using a different name, and you do not have the A number, it may be difficult to locate the person. Local facilities that detain immigrants in ICE custody for Northern California are:
If you are still unable to locate your loved one, please call our office, but we will need the person’s full name, date of birth, and country of origin.
Because there is so much fraud in the practice of immigration law, it is wise to research your attorney to make sure he or she is licensed and has no disciplinary record. You should feel comfortable asking your attorney if he or she is a licensed attorney and, if so, in which state. Attorneys are authorized to practice immigration law as long as they are licensed to practice law in some state in the United States, which makes it a little tricky to check that they are licensed and to check their credentials and disciplinary history. To verify if your attorney is licensed to practice law in the state of California, you can visit the California State Bar website at: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/ and input his or her name into the “Attorney” field. If the person is licensed in California, his or her name should appear along with any history of disciplinary problems as an attorney. If your attorney is not licensed in California, you should ask which state he or she is licensed in and then search for the state bar association for the state to confirm that the attorney is licensed and has no disciplinary record.
Resources for immigration fraud prevention:
Immigration Legal Services:
Resources for DREAMers:
Resources for Family Members of Incarcerated People:
Youth Violence Prevention: