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Noncitizen Communication Services


All detained noncitizens are provided free, unmonitored and unrecorded telephone access to specific governmental, nongovernmental and pro bono entities through ICE’s pro bono platform.

The telephone platform is accessible to entities listed on the Department of Justice (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) list of pro bono legal resources and ICE-approved organizations.

Since April 2020, ICE has provided 520 free minutes per month to detained noncitizens where telephone services are provided by the Noncitizen Communication Services’ telephone provider. These free minutes allow a detained noncitizen to call anyone — family, friends, attorneys — domestically and internationally. Paid legal calls are also available to detained noncitizens at all facilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What calls are included and permitted as free legal calls?

Free or direct calls are permitted to:

  • Local immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals
  • Federal and state courts where the detained noncitizen is located or may become involved in a legal proceeding
  • Consular officials
  • Legal service providers — pursuing or engaging legal representation or consultation about an expedited removal case
  • A government office, to obtain documents relevant to an immigration case
  • In a personal or family emergency, or when the detained noncitizen otherwise demonstrates a compelling need (to be interpreted liberally)

How does a legal service provider get added to the pro bono platform?

  • First, apply to be included on the EOIR Pro Bono List. Instructions and requirements are available online.
  • Once approved by EOIR, the legal service provider should notify ERO by emailing with EOIR confirmation approval.
  • Then, the legal service provider will be assigned a designated speed dial number on the pro bono telephone platform.

How quickly will a legal service provider be added to the pro bono telephone platform?

  • Most applications to EOIR take between 60 and 150 days to be processed and published on the EOIR Pro Bono List.
  • After notifying ERO of EOIR’s approval, please allow approximately five days to be assigned a speed dial number.

Are all EOIR Pro Bono Legal Service Providers available on the pro bono telephone platform in every ICE detention facility?

No. EOIR Pro Bono Legal Service Providers are only available for the state or geographic area served by the legal service providers — typically the state where the facility is located.

Is a private attorney who provides free services through an EOIR Pro Bono List-approved organization eligible for the pro bono telephone platform?

Yes, but they must apply to DOJ EOIR to be included on the EOIR Pro Bono List.

Can an organization be added to the pro bono telephone platform if it is providing services other than free legal services?

Generally, not, however, entities not accepted by EOIR to the pro bono list may request to be added to the ICE pro bono telephone platform by submitting a letter on the entity’s letterhead addressed to the Custody Management Division (CMD). Submission of application does not guarantee acceptance/approval.

The application will be reviewed by the NCS COR on a case-by-case basis and the entity will be notified of the decision. The letter must include:

  • Mission and specific need related to legal representation or detention concerns for pro bono system access
  • Website details and/or other supporting documentation of mission
  • A statement that includes all the following:
    • “[Insert entity name] understands that three-way calling and/or call forwarding activities with third parties is strictly prohibited through the pro bono telephone system and any discovery of three-way calling and/or call forwarding by [insert entity name] through the telephone platform shall result in permanent removal from the system.”
    • Signed by the executive official of the organization
  • The letter must be emailed to

Can an approved EOIR pro bono legal service provider or ERO-approved organization be removed from the telephone platform?

Yes. Engaging in three-way calling and/or call forwarding — except for the terms noted — can result in being removed from the telephone platform. Three-way calling is strictly prohibited and may also result in blocking the entity’s speed dial number.

  • Following a meaningful meet-and-confer dispute resolution process, pro bono privileges may be revoked by EOIR or ICE for a period of at least 12 months — or indefinitely.
  • Legal service providers may reapply to EOIR or ICE reinstatement pursuant to EOIR’s pro bono list application procedures.

Are pro bono attorneys permitted to conference in an interpreter or co-counsel on the telephone platform?

Upon request, pro bono attorneys may be permitted to use three-way calling on the pro bono telephone platform solely for facilitating communication with co-counsel, connections to professional/certified interpreters or third-party interpretation services or accommodating individuals with disabilities.

More information is available by contacting