For Immigrants (Resources for individuals and their families facing detention or at risk of deportation)


Access the National Immigration Legal Services Directory here  – You can search by state, zip code, and detention facility and print, PDF and email results in 13 different languages.

The UNHCR Hotline provides pro se materials:

To access the hotline from detention:

  • Dial 566# from inside detention facilities

  • Hours of operations: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2pm-5pm ET

The Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) compiled this legal referral spreadsheet which lists hundreds of private immigration attorneys in many states and information on pro se help desks (to support those without legal representation) and other limited scope representation efforts in various cities.

Free Legal Service Providers (click here for a list by state)

The U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review maintains a list of free legal service providers. The list notes the specific area in which each organization works.

Free Legal Referral: 

American Immigration Lawyers Association:

Call (800) 954-0254 or email them at [email protected] and state your name, phone number, what kind of immigration lawyer you need (for example, detention-deportation defense), and the city and state in which you need the lawyer

Call the NIJC Detention Project at (773) 672-6599 on Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Detained immigrants call collect at (312) 583-9721 or use the pro bono platform and NIJC’s 3-digit code, 565.


Access the National and local immigration hotlines here

Additional information about detention centers:

Access the Nationwide ICE Detention Facility Resource Directory here

To locate someone in U.S. immigration detention:

  1.  ICE Detainee Locator (click here to access)

You are able to locate a person in immigration detention who is currently in ICE custody or who was released from ICE custody for any reason within the last 60 days.

We have found that the ICE Detainee Locator is not always accurate or up-to-date; it can also be difficult to use.

     2. You may contact the ICE ERO Detention Reporting and Information Line at 1-888-351-4024.

To Verify The Status Of Your Case With The Immigration Court

There are two ways to access this information: online, or by phone. If you want to use the website, follow these instructions

Note: Everyone can call the phone line for the immigration court. It is an automated service, and calling will not affect the status of your case. 

  1. Call 1-800-898-7180
  2. Press1 (for English) or 2 (for Spanish)
  3. Press 1 again
  4. Dial your A number 
  5. If you entered it correctly, press 1
  6. If you did not dial it correctly, press 2 and dial the number again
  7. If you receive a phone message saying that your case is not yet reported in the court, it means that you have not yet been assigned a hearing date, but there is a possibility that in the future, you will be assigned a date. You should continue calling the hotline at least once a week. 
  8. If you have a court date, the message will begin to spell your name. 
  9. After your full name is spelled, press 1 to obtain the date and time of your hearing, and the name of your judge.

Remember and write down:

  • The date and time of your hearing 
  • The address of the immigration court
  • The name of the judge assigned to your case
    • Press 1 if you need the message repeated!

     10. If you believe a judge has taken a decision on your case, press 3 instead of 1 after your name is spelled and the message will give you information                       about the decision. If there is information about a decision, contact an attorney immediately.



A. How to Prepare an Asylum Application Without a Lawyer

This guide by The Advocates for Human Rights explains how to prepare the I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal (protection from being deported). This is a complicated process, but this guide is for people who don’t have a lawyer to help them.

Pro Se Asylum Manual 

The Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project has created a video that gives an overview of the I-589 application in Spanish

Link to Free Legal Help for Asylum Seekers

B. Appearing in Court


C. Self-Help Guides for Detained Immigrants

The U.S. Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has assembled a list of self-help guides in English and Spanish that provide information on immigration removal proceedings (deportation) and common forms of relief. The guides are tailored to assist individuals detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).


A. Mapping U.S. Immigration Detention-Interactive Map

Freedom for Immigrants’ interactive map sheds light on the scope and the growth of immigration detention, who has the power to shape it, and what resources are available to help those suffering in this system.

The map is divided into 8 categories showing:

  1. An overview of the current landscape of immigration prisons and jails, including the number of facilities, the location of Section 287(g) agreements and ICE field offices;

  2. A search engine that enables you to compare and contrast detention in your Congressional district, such as identifying which detention facilities are located near you

  3. The growth of immigration detention over time

  4. The number of people currently in ICE detention, organized by state, and the estimated bed capacity

  5. The companies and government entities that contract with ICE, as well as the visualization of immigration bond statistics 

  6. A layout of the immigration court system

  7. Legal and financial resources, such as bond funds, available for those suffering inside detention

  8. A compilation of Freedom for Immigrants’ programs, reports and resources, including monitoring reports, our network of visitation groups and other important data.

To pledge your support to host asylum seekers and add yourself to the map, click here.

B. Detention Statistics

Which states detain the most immigrants?

According to ICE data from June 2023, the top five states with the largest number of people in U.S. immigration detention per day are:

  • Texas (9,657 individuals)
  • Louisiana (4,416 individuals)
  • California (1,793 individuals)
  • Georgia (1,593 individuals)
  • Arizona (1,592 individuals)


How many people are detained in private immigrant prisons?

According to ICE data, over 90 percent of people are held in privately-run immigrant detention centers.

Who profits from immigration detention?

Private prison corporations’ perverse incentive to profit off of the prolonged imprisonment of Black, brown, and Indigenous immigrants is foundational to the immigration detention system. In fact, in the 1980’s, the GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America (now CoreCivic), successfully lobbied the government to expand detention and other forms of incarceration.

According to an OpenSecrets analysis of private prison company annual reports, the GEO Group and CoreCivic grossed $551 million and $552 million respectively from contracts with ICE alone in the fiscal year 2021. In addition to GEO Group and CoreCivic, other private prison companies with large stakes in the business of immigration detention include LaSalle Corrections and Management & Training Corporation. Local county governments also profit immensely from sheriff’s office agreements to jail immigrants on behalf of the federal government.

Where are people held in immigration detention for the longest?

According to ICE data from June 2023, the top 10 immigrant prisons and jails that hold people the longest include:

  • Sherburne County Jail, MN (average of 259 days)
  • Monroe County Detention Center, MI (84 days)
  • Moshannon Valley Correctional Center (78 days)
  • Buffalo (Batavia) Service Processing Center, NY (78 days)
  • Chippewa County Jail, MI (74 days)
  • Department of Corrections Hagatna, GU (72 days)
  • Geauga County Jail, OH (72 days)
  • Saipan Department of Corrections, CNMI (66 days)
  • Pike County Correctional Facility, PA (65 days)
  • Tacoma ICE Processing Center, WA (64 days)


What types of abuses are reported in immigration detention?

The top complaint Freedom For Immigrants received from people in immigration detention is medical neglect/abuse.


C. Know Your Rights (KYR) With ICE – English and Spanish

Explains who is at risk of an ICE arrest and your rights when interacting with ICE officers. 0.

For interactive KYR  website: and accessing other languages.

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