Integrity Legal

26th Jul 2010

This blog usually focuses upon the international facets of US Immigration law. However, sometimes, there is news regarding internal immigration policy that impacts the entire field of  American Immigration law. The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (also known by the acronym USICE or more commonly referred to as ICE) is tasked with apprehending and detaining aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States of America. From an American attorney‘s perspective, an important part of the practice of law is knowledge of one’s client’s whereabouts. In a recent press release, ICE announced that a new locator system has be designed to provide interested parties with the current location of a detained alien. To quote the press release directly:

ICE announces launch of Online Detainee Locator System

WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today the launch of ICE’s Online Detainee Locator System (ODLS), a public, Internet-based tool designed to assist family members, attorneys and other interested parties in locating detained aliens in ICE custody. The creation and implementation of the ODLS is a concrete example of ICE’s commitment to detention reform.

The ODLS is located on ICE’s public website,, and provides users with information on the location of the detention facility where a particular individual is being held, a phone number to the facility and contact information for the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations office in the region where the facility is located. A brochure explaining how to use the ODLS is also available on the website in the following languages: English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic and Somali.

“The ODLS is an easy, accessible tool that allows family members and counsel to locate an individual in ICE custody in a matter of minutes,” said Phyllis Coven, acting director of ICE’s Office of Detention Policy and Planning. “ICE is making great strides in our effort to translate the principles of reform into innovative, practical and timely solutions.” ODLS users will be able to locate detained aliens by two different search methods. First, users can search by entering an individual’s alien registration number, also known as their “A” number, and their country of birth.

Users can also search by entering an individual’s first name, last name, country of birth and date of birth. Since the ODLS will be available for use on ICE’s public website, the agency is committed to ensuring detainee privacy while making ODLS a useful tool for family members, attorneys and other related parties.

With relatively recent advances in technology it is amazing to see how much more streamlined the American Immigration system can be. Hopefully, this new program will provide future immigration attorneys with more tools to better serve their clients.

For related information please see: US Visa Thailand.

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