Helping a Detained Immigrant

The sudden detention of a loved one is a tremendously difficult experience for a family.  Despite the urgency of the situation, it is important to remember that deportations typically take weeks, if not months.  This section will outline some steps that you can take to locate someone in detention and understand how to advocate for them.

1. Who can be deported? The first step in helping someone in detention or deportation proceedings is understanding their immigration status and the reason that they might be deportable. More on who can be deported and where immigrants are most vulnerable...

2. Finding someone who is detained: It can sometimes take weeks to find someone who has just been detained by immigration. These are some steps that you can take:

  • Contact the Deport Office for New England, 617-565-3304. The Deport Office of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Detention and Removal Branch can often provide information about the location of a detainee, although computer records are not updated immediately. Only call if you are certain your loved one has been detained by immigration. It is best if you can provide his/her Alien Number although officers can generally find a detainee by name if they have been entered into the system.  Outside of New England, click here to find information for your local Detention and Removal Operations Office.
  • Contact your consulate. Consulates are often required by international convention or treaty to be informed when one of their nationals is detained.
  • Contact individual detention centers: Some of the largest immigration facilities in New England are the Suffolk House of Corrections (617-635-1000), the Bristol County Correctional Institution (508-995-6400), the Plymouth County Correctional Facility (508-830-6200) and the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Center (401-729-1190).

Read more: Helping a Detained Immigrant

Complaints About Standards

How do I complain about detention standards and abuses?

The Department of Homeland Securities has procedures to address complaints about detention standard violations.  Following the steps can help you be more effective in bringing a violation to the attention of DHS, and securing redress.

Read more: Complaints About Standards

Detention Locations and Conditions

On any given day, nearly 900 people are in immigration detention in New England, distributed in over a dozen county, state, federal and private facilities.  Still more detainees are transferred to Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and other locations where there are more beds available. View a list of detention facilities used by ICE in New England.

Read more: Detention Locations and Conditions