Orientation on locating a detainee and contacting a lawyer
1. Get the details of the person and arrest
Get the person’s full name, try to find out if she goes by any other names, find out what law enforcement agency made the initial arrest (was it ICE, Border Patrol, State, County or Local law enforcement?), find out in what city the arrest was made, and make sure to get her date of birth and country of birth. Those will be instrumental in locating her.
2. Call the local office of the agency that made the arrest
Right away you will need to make a couple calls. First, call the office of the agency that made the arrest that is located in the city the arrest was made. Ask for as many details about the arrest. Ask if she is in custody of this agency at the local facility. Some times if the arresting agency is not an immigration enforcement agency, the individual will not be transferred directly into immigration custody right away. There may be a window of opportunity to speak to the person and intervene before they are caught up in the deportation process.
If they are arrested by an immigration enforcement agency, the person may be in local custody for processing. You will need to call the local Border Patrol offices to find out if the person is being processed locally. Stations of the Rio Grande Valley Sector are Brownsville, Fort Brown Station, Weslaco, Harlingen, McAllen, Rio Grande City, Falfurrias, Kingsville, and Corpus Christi. Call the RGV Sector Headquarters to get the contact information for all local Border Patrol stations. RGV Sector Headquarters Contact Information: Phone Number: (956) 289-4800; Sector Headquarters Mailing Address – 4400 South Expressway 281, Edinburg, Texas 78539.
If Sector Headquarters or one of the stations directs you to the online locating tool before answering your questions, go ahead and move to step 3 below. If the online tool does not give you any results, call back and insist on an answer to your questions. They may not give you the info you need, but there is a small chance insisting will help.
3. Check the online ICE locating tool
With name and date and country of birth, you can use ICE’s online locating tool (https://locator.ice.gov/odls/homePage.do
). However, if the person was only recently detained, the website may not be updated with the latest information. Also, the system does not give information for people under 18 years of age. In such cases, you’ll need to contact the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field office, which is in San Antonio, and request her Alien Number
(A#) and her location. With the A# you’ll be able to track wherever they taken her as they move her around. You can call (210) 967-7012
for the San Antonio office. In my experience they are horrible at returning phone calls, so keep calling back and leave a message a couple of times. Insist that they give you the information you need. They may want to send you back to the online tool. Don’t let them. Ask to speak to a supervisor if they do not help you with information. They may direct you to call the local offices (step 2). If so explain that you already have and continue to insist on them giving you the information you need.
4. Call the consulate of the country the detainee is from
It is likely that neither ICE nor the local Border Patrol station will give you information about the detainee if the detainee has not yet been process and given an A Number. If that is the case, the only way to reach the person will be through the consulate of the country the detainee is from. Call the local consulate and ask them to help you locate the person. The consulate can call local Border Patrol officials to locate detainees. This may be immediate or it may take time. If you cannot get the information directly, the consulate is your last resort.
5. Make sure the person doesn’t sign anything without first speaking to a lawyer
By this time you have hopefully located the person or the person has been given an opportunity to call you. If you can communicate with the person, make sure she doesn’t sign anything before speaking to a lawyer. Immigration enforcement, especially along the border, is generally relentless at trying to get people to sign their own deportation so they don’t have to give them a chance to fight their immigration case. Ask her for her A Number and where she is being detained so that you can remain in contact with her.
She may have been apprehended in the Valley, but that doesn’t mean she’ll be held here in the Valley. It’s possible they move her around. So that A number will be important for keeping track of her location.
6. Get an immigration lawyer
Generally, the only way to fight a deportation is with an immigration lawyer. If they keep the person detained here in the Valley, contact one of the below attorneys, who may be able to represent the person.
A direct family member of the person detained or in deportation proceedings should go to a consultation so that the lawyer has the most complete information possible. Please bring all records regarding prior immigration encounters (deportation or prior petitions) or criminal records. There will be a cost, but every lawyer is different.
Garcia & Garcia, Attorneys at Law PLLC
4905 North McColl, Ste. A
McAllen, TX 78502
5125 S McColl Rd, Suite B
The Law Office of Kyle Brown, P.C.
408 Lindberg Ave.
McAllen, TX 78501
Law offices of Marlene A Dougherty
314 East 8th St
Law Office of Jodi Goodwin
1322 East Tyler Ave.
Jones & Crane, Attorneys
805 Media Luna Ste. 200
Brownsville, TX 78520
Perez Renteria, PLLC
5125 S McColl Rd. Ste. A
Law Firm of Cathy J. Potter PLLC
203 S. Commerce Street
Molina Law Group
1257 N. Sam Houston Blvd.
600 South 11th St