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  4. Department of Homeland Security Announces Enhanced Searchability of Migrants in Custody After Crossing the Border

Department of Homeland Security Announces Enhanced Searchability of Migrants in Custody After Crossing the Border

Release Date: June 7, 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) updated the functionality of its Online Detainee Locator System (ODLS) webpage today to include individuals who are currently in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for 48 hours or more. Previously, the ODLS only returned results if an individual was detained by ICE.

Family and friends of migrants who use the webpage can learn if their missing loved one is safely in U.S. government custody without having to call multiple DHS facilities.

The ODLS webpage allows users to search for an individual using an A-number and country of birth or by first and last name, country of birth, and date of birth (optional). The website can be accessed in 11 languages: Arabic, English, French, Haitian Creole, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese.

When CBP encounters individuals and families along the border between ports of entry, they are transported to a U.S. Border Patrol station or other CBP processing facility where they are identified and undergo an initial health screening. While in CBP custody, migrants are provided safety, security, and basic medical care in a manner consistent with all applicable legal obligations, CBP’s Transport, Escort, Detention and Search Policy (TEDS), and CDC guidelines.

While carrying out its homeland security mission, CBP prioritizes the preservation of every human life and dedicates significant resources toward robust border safety programs. These national programs include, but are not limited to, the Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue Unit, the Missing Migrant Program, and the expanding deployment of rescue beacons throughout the border region. In addition to these programs, every Border Patrol agent receives first responder training.

Crossing the border unlawfully is inherently dangerous. CBP urges migrants to seek lawful pathways into the United States and not to place their lives in the hands of human smugglers. CBP continues to expeditiously process and remove individuals who arrive at the U.S. border unlawfully and do not have a legal basis to stay. When an individual is in CBP custody, every effort will be made to promptly transfer, transport, process, release, or repatriate the individual as appropriate according to CBP policies and procedures. More information can be found on CBP’s Missing Migrant Program webpage and Searching for Someone in CBP Custody webpage.

Last Updated: 06/07/2024
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