The Department of Homeland Security is launching a hotline for individuals who have been jailed on immigration charges and believe they are victims of a crime or may be U.S. citizens, The Associated Press reported.
According to the news outlet, the toll-free hotline – 855-448-6903 – will be staffed 24 hours a day and run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to answer questions from people held in local jails concerning possible deportation proceedings.
The AP reported that the hot line is the latest move by the Administration of President Barack Obama to address concerns about alleged illegal immigrants held in local jails. In early December, Homeland Security ended agreements that allowed deputies at an Arizona sheriff’s office to check the immigration status of local inmates.
This practice was halted after a Justice Department report outlined allegations of discrimination and racial profiling against Latinos.
The Los Angeles Times reported that interpreters will be available for alleged illegal immigrants who speak other languages.
“ICE personnel will collect information from the individual and refer it to the relevant ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations field office for immediate action,” immigration officials said in a statement.