ICE Detainee Locator, Free Immigrant Legal Help Groups

ICE detainee locator guide, ICE hotline phone number, 6 Free legal help groups, maps to all detention facilities, visitation programs, court and government office locators in 2019.

This guide explains how to find and visit a loved one in ICE custody, how the ICE detainee locator system works and where to find Free legal help.

Freedom for Immigrants operates visitation programs at 55 immigrant prisons and jails in 23 states staffed with over 1,500 visitor volunteers. This dedicated group seeks to end the isolation and abuse of people in immigration detention.

The US immigration detention system includes more than 200 immigrant prisons and jails operated by a mix of government entities and private companies.

According to Federal government data, the states with the most immigration detentions are: Texas (15,800/day), California (6,500/day), Arizona (3,900/day) and Georgia (3,700/day).


ICE detainee locator: Immigration detainee locator

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Online Detainee Locator System (ODLS) can locate immigration detainees in ICE custody that are 18 years or older. ICE offers two methods to search the immigration detainee locator database:

  1. Search by A-Number: You can search by the Alien Registration Number. The A-Number is a unique eight- or nine-digit number assigned to a noncitizen at the time their A-File is created. An A-Number is the letter “A” followed by eight or nine numbers (such as A012345678). If they are a permanent resident (green card holder), the number will be on their green card.

  2. Search by Biological Information: To search by name, a detainee's first and last names are required and must be an exact match (e.g., John Doe will not find Jon Doe or John Doe-Smith). If you cannot find them, try various misspellings, versions, reversed names or adding/removing a hypen “-” if appropriate for their name (i.e. “Jose Ignacio Gonzalez” vs “Jose Ignacio-Gonzalez”). You are required to provide the detainee's Country of Birth.

ICE hold immigration inmate search

If a foreign national has an "ICE hold," "immigration hold" or "immigration detainer" on them while in state or federal custody, they generally will not be released until the matter is resolved or bonded in a US immigration court.

Once an inmate has been transferred to federal ICE custody they can be located via the ICE locator. If not yet in ICE custody, you will need to perform an inmate search in the local county jail system they are held in.

Brochure explaining the ICE Online Detainee Locator System →

Folleto del Sistema Localizador de Detenidos en Línea (español) →

The Online ICE Detainee Locator will return “Not in Custody” if the detainee has been released or deported in the last 60 days.

The detainee locator works for ALL ICE detention facilities nationwide, including those located in Arizona, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and all other states.


ICE detention facilities:

ICE main website:
ICE detainee locator:
ICE enforcement & removal operations:
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney → Deportation Process Information →


Map of all U.S. immigration detention locations

Freedom for Immigrants visits and monitors 55 immigrant prisons and jails throughout the US and runs a national hotline for detained immigrants.

The following comprehensive map shows all US immigration detention facilities and visitation programs on one map including:

  1. Community led visitation programs

  2. ICE-operated detention facilities

  3. Privately operated immigrant prisons

  4. Federal bureau of prisons facilities with ICE detention

  5. County and city operated immigrant jails

For information about visitation programs, visit Freedom for Immigrants

Click “+” and “-” to zoom in on your area for detail on all locations and visitation programs.

Video about US detention system

Learn about the history, laws and realities of the US immigration detention system in this 5-minute video. 


Free legal help organizations for immigrants

These six organizations offer free legal help and other assistance to immigrants and their families:

1) Immigrant Families Together

Immigrant Families Together (IFT) is a non-profit network of Americans committed to rapid response unification of families separated by the 'zero tolerance' policy.  IFT has mobilized to help parents currently detained through the following immediate actions:

  • Raising of bond funds through coordinated crowdfunding and individual giving in order to post bond for parents separated from their children at the US/Mexico Border. Bonds have recently been averaging $15,000 to $30,000 each, instead of the typical $1,500.

  • Paying bonds and providing pro bono legal representation to fulfill all legal responsibilities while awaiting trial so that they may be with their children.

  • Arranging safe transportation from state of detention to the city where children are currently in foster care.

  • When needed, finding longterm housing in the destination city while they await trial.

  • Connecting parents in cities with resources in order to sustain them during the process of being unified with their children.

  • Working with local organizations and government to expedite the process of achieving full custody of their children while they await trial.

IFT is also creating a toolkit to allow other concerned citizens to replicate their model in order to help bring parents back to their children across the country as quickly as possible.

2) Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project

The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project is a non-profit providing free legal services to men, women and unaccompanied minors in immigration custody in Arizona. According to the organization, an estimated 86 percent of those detained in Arizona would have no legal representation without their assistance.

3) Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees build their lives in America. The organization has made a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who have sought safety and hope in America’s communities.

American Lutherans have deep immigrant roots and a passionate commitment to welcoming newcomers, especially those most vulnerable and in need. LIRS's faith based organization partners with community-based legal and social service providers nationwide, to help people caught in conflict and facing persecution.


The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) is a Texas-based non-profit committed to reuniting immigrant families and helping children feel safe. The agency provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrant families to ensure fair treatment under US law.

RAICES aims to "directly fund the bond necessary to get parents out of detention and reunited with their children while awaiting court proceedings" and "ensure legal representation for EVERY child in Texas' immigration courts." In 2017, RAICES staff closed 51,000 immigration cases at no cost to their clients.

5) Miles 4 Migrants

The innovative non-profit Miles 4 Migrants provides airfare to reunite separated immigrant families and relatives. They have collected more than 5.8 million airline frequent flier miles which are used to purchase airline tickets.


Microsoft and Angelina Jolie have partnered to create Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a non-profit focused on protecting unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone to ensure that no child appears in court without an attorney. They strive for fundamental fairness through high-quality legal representation and by advancing the child's best interests, safety, and well-being.


US immigration & customs

USCIS Los Angeles
300 N Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
USCIS Los Angeles office website 

USCIS has California offices in Fresno, Imperial, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Chatsworth, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Santa Ana
Customer Service: 800-375-5283
Main website:
USCIS office locator

CBP Headquarters Washington DC
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC, 20229
Info Center: 877-227-5511, 202-325-8000
Main website:
Office locator:
CBP detainee locator →


Court locations

Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review
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Los Angeles mugshots

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Last updated 8.4.19

Tsion Chudnovsky , Esq.  Fluent in Spanish, French, Italian & Amharic

Tsion Chudnovsky, Esq.
Fluent in Spanish, French, Italian & Amharic

About the Author

Tsion Chudnovsky is an immigrant to the US and founder of the California law firm Chudnovsky Law. Chudnovsky Law’s southern California based legal team includes several kinds of attorneys:

The firm’s multi-lingual team speaks spanish, french, italian, and Amharic and offer legal information in other languages: