Practice Pointer: How to Locate Clients that Have Been Apprehended by ICE

The January 25, 2017, Executive Order (EO) titled, "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States," announced a massive expansion in interior enforcement. The EO defines enforcement priorities extremely broadly, and places significantly more undocumented individuals at risk of deportation. This practice pointer provides attorneys with best practices and tips for effectively locating clients that have been apprehended by ICE.

Locating Your Client

If your client is arrested by ICE and is 18 years of age or older (including unaccompanied children over 18), you should first try to confirm where your client is detained via the ICE Online Detainee Locator System (ODLS). ICE policy requires ODLS systems to be updated within eight hours of release, removal, or transfer of detainees. You can search either by Alien Number (A#) or by Biographical Information. To search by A#, you will need both the individual's A# and country of birth. To search by biographical information, you will need the client's first name, last name, and country of birth. You can also enter a date of birth to help narrow the search results. However, it is important to be aware that ODLS does not always provide accurate information when using biographic information searches, especially if there is any error or discrepancy in the biographical data.

If you are experiencing difficulty in locating your client, you may want to contact the local ICE ERO office with jurisdiction over the location of the arrest. ICE's website,, provides general contact information for each ICE office, including a phone number for the public. If you experience difficulties in contacting ICE ERO, you may want to follow up with ICE's Community Relations Officers (CRO) using the contact information provided on their website at

Detention Center Contact Information

Each ICE detention center has a web page containing information regarding the detention center's address, how to contact your client, visiting hours for attorneys and family, how to send items to detainees, and other details. ICE maintains a directory with links to each of its detention centers on its website at

Local AILA Chapter Liaison Information

For more detailed information, most local AILA chapters maintain a current list of ICE/ERO Officers and contact information. You can access this information via the chapter website. Most AILA Chapters also appoint a local ICE Liaison who can assist if you are unable to find this information on their website. Contact information for AILA's Local ICE Liaisons can be found by using AILA's Group Directory, These resources can also be accessed via AILA's "Resources By State" page.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 17020837.