How to Find a Deported Person

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When a person you know gets detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, there are a few steps you can take to locate him or her in the country. A detainee might be placed in either government-controlled jails, prisons or military bases, or privately contracted centers. It may take a good deal of persistence, but there is a way to find the detainee.

Gathering Information

Find the right phone numbers to call. The Immigrant Women Network has compiled a list of contacts, including the phone numbers of ICE offices, embassies and organizations designed to help those involved with deportation.

Call the appropriate numbers and retrieve as much information as possible. Understand that detainees are often transferred after the first 72 hours to different states and may be transferred several times in the span of a few weeks. Be sure to provide as much information as possible about the detainee, and try to be as clear and concise as possible with any official with whom you speak.

Keep trying. If you do not locate the detainee on the first try, do not give up. The process of finding someone is not easy, as detainees are constantly being transferred to new facilities. But it is not an impossible task. If anyone refuses information to you, ask the reasons why, and explain yourself. Speak to a supervisory deportation office or the ICE field office director if you are not satisfied with the information given to you.


  • Do not lie about the status of the detainee. This could only cause problems. If you do not feel comfortable talking about the detainee, you can always hire a lawyer experienced in immigration laws. Visit to find a lawyer who can help you.



About the Author

Gerri Blanc began her professional writing career in 2007 and has collaborated in the research and writing of the book "The Fairy Shrimp Chronicles," published in 2009. Blanc holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature and culture from the University of California, Merced.