How Do You Search Deportation Records?

According to and the website of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a researcher can search for deportation records by checking ICE’s Online Detainee Locator System tool. One can also hire an immigration lawyer or private investigator, search immigration court records or file a Freedom of Information Act request for government records. Deportation information is public, but specific information about a person is required to initiate a proper search.

The ICE search-based tool contains information about people who are either currently in ICE custody, or who were released from custody within the last 60 days. It can be used to find information by the detainee’s alien registration number, or A-number, and country of birth, or by name and country of birth. Date of birth information is optional. This database does not search for deportation records of minors.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website provides some information about older deportation records. The National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC stores most records dating before April 1, 1944. For records created after April 1, 1944, a unique A-number should be available for each alien in the Immigration and Naturalization Service database. Once this number is known, the researcher can request the alien’s file from the USCIS Genealogy Program, the USCIS Freedom of Information Act program or the National Archives.