July 23, 2010
WASHINGTON — Federal officials say they are making it easier for families and attorneys to find people held in 250 immigration detention facilities around the country.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has created a search tool on its website similar to one used by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Searchers can look by name or so-called "alien" numbers given to people who immigrate to the U.S. or end up in immigration custody. The detainee locator was to be running beginning at midday Friday.
Some 30,000 people a day are in immigration custody. ICE has its own facilities but also contracts with local law enforcement agencies for bed space in local and state jails and prisons.
Creating such a locator was one of the reforms the Obama administration proposed to make the detention system more humane and transparent.