Tracking An Application with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS)
The USCIS case status page allows you to check the processing status of your case. You also have the option to create an account and receive automated case status updates by email.
USCIS publishes information on the average processing times for various application types at its service centers here. Scroll to the bottom of the page, select the appropriate service center from the drop-down menus, and then find your form number in the list.
Resources on Immigration Detention in Colorado
Finding a Detained Person: The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Online Detainee Locator System allows the public to search for the location of adults (over age 18) detained in an immigration detention facility. You can search by alien registration number (A number) and country of birth or by name and country of birth. Please note that the system is not always reliable, because ICE does not immediately update the system when it transfers a detainee.
The Aurora Detention Center: The primary detention facility in Colorado is the privately run, GEO (Global Expertise in Outsourcing) Group, Inc. Aurora “Denver Contract Detention Facility,” a privately run detention facility, located at 3130 North Oakland Street, Aurora, Colorado 80010. ICE provides information about the facility here, including procedures for transferring money to and contacting detainees, as well as visiting hours. As of December 7, 2013, visiting days and hours were as follows (these can be confirmed by accessing the ICE web site listed above):
If the detainee’s last name begins with the letters A-L, visiting days are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
If the detainee’s last name begins with the letters M-Z, visiting days are Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
For male detainees, visiting hours are 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
For female detainees, visiting hours are 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
For detainees in the segregation unit, visiting hours are 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.
NOTE: I recommend that you call ahead before visiting, because detainees can be transferred or may not be available at the stated times. The contact number is (303) 361-6612.
Bond: When ICE detains a non-citizen, it may set bond in an initial amount or decide to release the person through one of its alternative monitoring programs. If the non-citizen does not receive bond or wants a lower bond, she can request a hearing, called a bond redetermination hearing, before an immigration judge. I strongly recommend contacting a lawyer prior to making such a request. Bond can then be posted directly to ICE or through a bail bond company. The detention facility DOES NOT accept bond money. Instead, the person posting the bond must appear at the ICE field office, located at 12445 East Caley Avenue, Centennial, Colorado 80111. ICE only accepts bond payments from Monday – Friday between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and they ONLY accept payment by either money order or bank cashier’s check (no cash, credit cards, or personal checks). Please note that once bond is posted, management of the money does not remain with the local field office. Instead, the money is transferred to the ICE Debt Management Center:Debt Management Center Attention: Bond Unit P.O. Box 5000 Williston, VT 05495-5000 Telephone: (802) 288-7600 Fax: (802) 288-1226
Other Detention Locations: ICE has arrangements with certain jails and other detention facilities in Colorado enabling it to detain non-citizens at these locations; for example, Syracuse University’s TRAC database indicates, based on somewhat old data, that there are at least 36 such locations in Colorado alone. Detainees are commonly held at the El Paso County Jail in Colorado Springs, which has different visiting hours and policies. Detainees can be transferred at any time, and immigration judges do not have jurisdiction over the conditions or locations of detention.
The Immigration Court (Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR))
The U.S. Department of Justice, through the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), runs the national system of immigration courts, as well as the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). EOIR’s website is here. The rules of procedure for the immigration court are published in the Immigration Court Practice Manual.
National Information Line: If you know a person’s alien registration number (A number), you can enter it into the automated phone system available by calling (800) 898-7180. The system provides the date, time, location of and the immigration judge presiding at the person’s next court hearing. Other information is also available.
Denver Immigration Court: As of August 2013, the Denver Immigration Court is at its new location at 1961 Stout Street, Suite 3101, Denver, Colorado 80294, main phone: (303) 844-5815. Information on the Court and some of its procedures is available here. The Court also maintains a separate location within the Denver Contract Detention Facility for detained cases, and the main phone number for that court is (303) 361-0488.
Colorado Resources for Immigrants
The Immigrant Legal Center of Boulder County, located in Boulder, Colorado, provides a variety of resources for non-citizens.
The Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network facilitates pro bono (free) legal representation for certain non-citizens who are detained at local immigration detention facilities.
The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition conducts a variety of political and non-political activities on behalf of immigrants.
Colorado Resources for Employers
The Mountain States Employers Council is a membership-based organization that provides resources for employers, including on immigration matters.
Research & Learning Resources
Syracuse University hosts the extremely useful Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a rich database about federal government staffing, spending, and enforcement activities. TRAC Immigration is the portion of the database devoted to federal immigration-related activities, and you can find a list of research reports here. I find the Immigration Court Backlog Tool to be particularly useful.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) web site is full of freely available information on various aspects of the U.S. immigration system, including multimedia presentations, resources for immigrants, and resources on immigration law in general.
The American Immigration Council’s Immigration Policy Center is also an excellent, user-friendly source of information. I recommend starting at the “top resources” page.
Country Conditions Research
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), a.k.a., the immigration court system, now has its very own country conditions resource, here.
U.S. Department of State travel advisories often contain useful country conditions information.
The State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs maintains the visa reciprocity tables, an essential resource that lists available visa types and, critically, provides information on the types of documents available from the country. Other branches of the government often rely on this table when asking for documents from applicants for immigration benefits.
The C.I.A. World Factbook is my go-to resource for statistics on countries.
The Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota maintains a Human Rights Library that includes resources on asylum and refugee issues, part of which is a table, organized by country, with links to State Department, Amnesty International, and Humans Rights Watch country reports, as well as a bibliography of additional resources.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) website hosts various resources and reports on countries.