First Friends can provide your family member or friend in immigration detention with someone who can visit them on a regular basis. Have your family member or friend call a First Friends Hotline below.


First Friends can provide your family member or friend in immigration detention with someone who will write them on a regular basis. Have your family member or friend call a First Friends Hotline below.


Request a Visit or a Pen Pal using the First Friends Hotline numbers below.  The specific Hotline number is also posted in each of the jails and detention centers.

EDC:  #8996 or #8996


How Do I Find Someone in U.S. Immigration Detention?

  1. ICE Detainee Locator: Use this online search tool to locate people who are currently in ICE custody or who have been released within the last 60 days.
  2. Contact ICE’s Public Advocate at the ICE Community Helpline at 1-888-351-4024. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Mon-Fri.
  3. Please contact us here at First Friends. Phone: (908) 965-0455. email: [email protected]
    The ICE Detainee Locator is not always accurate. We are here to help you!

How Do I Find My Loved One’s Court Date?

  • Immigration Court information: 1-800-898-7180. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), has created this Immigration Court toll-free information about immigration cases through an automated system, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How Do I Find an Immigration Attorney?

  1. Immigration Advocates Legal Directory PDF and email results in 13 languages.
  2. List of Pro Bono (Free) Legal Service Providers (U.S. Department of Justice)
  3. Immigration Lawyer Search (American Immigration Lawyers). Phone: (800) 954-0254. email: [email protected] stating your name, phone #, what kind of immigration lawyer you need (for example, detention-deportation defense), city and state.

How Do I Avoid Scams?

*If your lawyer is NOT listed by the websites above, please take the following precautions:

  • Only go to an Attorney or a BIA Accredited Representative.
  • An Attorney must have a license to practice law – Ask to see their law license.
  • A BIA Accredited Representative must be accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and work for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which is recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals – Ask to see their accreditation documents.
  • Notarios, Notaries or Notary Publics are NOT Attorneys or BIA Accredited Representatives and they cannot give legal advice.
  • To file a complaint against a Notario in English or Spanish call 1-877-382-4357.
  • Visit the US Citizenship & Immigration website for more information about how to avoid scams and file complaints.

What is Bond?

  • The bond is an amount of money paid to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to guarantee that you will appear in court for all of your hearings and obey the orders of the immigration judge. If you are in immigration detention, you may ask a judge to order your release if you can get money for a bond.If you follow all of the judge’s orders, the money will be returned at the end of the court proceedings (regardless of whether you win or lose). However, if you do not appear in court for all of your hearings, the money will not be returned and you may be removed or deported by the immigration judge.The bond hearing is just to decide whether you can be released if you pay a bond. Sometimes, the bond hearing is held on the same day as the “Master Calendar” hearing.  You can apply for help with your bond from First Friends by filling out this referral form. *You will not be released with a bond if you were detained while entering the United States (you can apply for parole), or if you have been convicted of a serious crime. Most criminal convictions make you ineligible for bond. You will have to remain in detention while you fight your immigration case.

I Have Been Granted Asylum, Now What Do I Do?

  1. Visit the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) website for information. People granted asylum are eligible for assistance, including: job placement, English language classes, cash assistance, and medical assistance. You can click on your state on this map to find local resources. A one-page outreach flyer for asylees is available on the ORR website in 9 languages.
  2. To find benefits and services in your community, call 1-800-354-0365 . This referral line is a joint project of Catholic Legal Immigration Network,Inc. (CLINIC) and Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New York.

My Loved One is Being Deported Soon. Who Can Help Us?

  • Post Deportation Resources: search by country to find information about preparing for deportation and to find help when you return to your country.

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