Searching for someone missing at the border?

Many people are looking for family members and loved ones who have gone missing while crossing the border. In some cases, they know that the person was left behind in the desert, or they know the person was detained by Border Patrol. In other cases, they have received no information at all.

If you are searching for a missing loved one, please follow the advice on La Coalición de Derechos Humanos’s page.

In 2014, No More Deaths co-published Herramientas para Buscar a Migrantes Perdidos (Tools for Searching for a Missing Migrant). This is an in-depth guide that helps inform families and friends of the steps they can take to locate their loved ones.

The following advice is for locating someone who may be in detention.

1. Call the consulate of the country of origin of the missing person.

Their country of origin probably has more than one consulate in the US. Call the one closest to the location where they attempted to cross. The Mexican consulates in Arizona have a 24-hour hotline. You will need the full name and birth date of the missing person. Often the consulate will only provide information to an immediate family member (parent, sibling, spouse, or child).

2. Check online detainee locators.

Tips for using the online locators:

  • Put in just the first and last name (and for ICE, the country of origin) and leave the fields blank that are not required.
  • Two-part last names are usually connected with a hyphen (example: Morales-López) but try them with and without the hyphen, in reverse order, and with any common misspellings. This will help you find the person even if there was an error when the name was entered.