Immigration Attorneys in Gainesville, GA

Tips for when your loved one is detained.

(Disclaimer: My experience mostly pertains to Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, GA, and the North Georgia Detention Center in Gainesville, GA. Some of this will apply to other detention centers, some will not. Please consult a lawyer when making legal decisions.)

1. Tell them not to sign the papers! – Advise your loved one NOT to sign any deportation papers. It is more difficult to fight the case if they sign them. They will be pressured and possibly threatened but they do not have to sign or talk about their immigration status. Advise them to tell the officers they will not talk or sign papers until they speak to their lawyer.

2. Representation – Find a good immigration lawyer. They should specialize in detention and deportation law. If you can get a recommendation for a fair lawyer, do it. There are many stories out there about immigration lawyers that have taken money and done nothing. Be careful who you hire. If you can not hire a lawyer because of financial reasons, the detainee can represent him or herself or attempt to find a pro bono lawyer.

3. Location– If they are currently in a city or county jail, they will most likely moved many times and eventually end up in an immigration detention center. Find out your loved one’s A number, commissary number, address at the immigration detention center (including their bed number) and their ICE officer’s name. If you do not know the location of your loved one, you can sometimes find their location at: NOTE: This detainee locator does not always work.

4. Communication – For your sanity and the detainee’s sanity, write letters. Getting mail in the detention center is a big deal and means a lot. In Stewart, they can receive photos, letters, drawings (nothing with glue or stickers), and soft back books (Only sent from a publisher or internet company like They CANNOT receive books from a person directly.) To send mail (or send books THROUGH or other internet publishers) to Stewart Detention Center, here is the address:

Detainee’s name
Detainee’s A#
Detainee’s bed number
PO Box 248
Lumpkin, GA 31815

5. Phone – If your loved one is fighting their case, the cheapest way for them to communicate with you by phone is for you to change your cell phone number to the area code in which the detention center is located. For Stewart, it is 229. The detainee can then buy phone cards in the detention center to call. Another option is that you can open a collect phone account from the company that works with the detention center. It varies with each detention center. For Stewart, the phone company is called Securus (formerly Evercom). Their website is Collect accounts are cheaper if you have a local area code (local to the detention center). If you keep your number and live far from the detention center, it will be more expensive.If you do not want to change your area code, you can get a Skype number (with an area code where the detention center is located) at and then forward the number to your cell phone number or home phone. This can be complicated for those with limited computer skills but very possible. With this option, the detainee must use the phone cards bought inside the detention center.

Experienced Georgia Immigration Lawyer

6. Sending money – At Stewart, you can send money by money order but you MUST send it to this special address:

CCA Inmate Trust
(Inmate Last Name, Inmate First Name / Inmate CCA Commissary #)
Facility: STWRT
P.O. Box 933488
Atlanta, GA 31193-3488

The easiest way to send money is by Western Union. You can send it online or in person at Western Union locations. Here are the directions for filling out the Western Union form: Money Instructions

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