How the VIDA Letter Writing Program


VIDA: Volunteers for Immigrants in Detention - Albuquerque (formerly Civic ABQ)

VIDA Letter Writing Program

VIDA is a group of people who seek to end the isolation of those in immigrant detention in New Mexico and elsewhere. One concrete and vital way that we can do this is by coordinating a letter writing program.

We have an ever-evolving list of 70+ immigrants in detention either at local detention centers Cibola County Correctional Center (in Milan, NM, near Grants) or Torrance County Detention Facility (in Estancia) or other detention centers across the United States. These immigrants are from all over the world, but primarily Latin America, Africa, and southeast Asia. In collaboration with the Casa de Paz Pen Pal program, we also have access to a large number of immigrants detained at Aurora Contract Detention Facility in Colorado.

We match volunteers who have filled out this form with an immigrant from our list. Then we reach out with all the relevant information that you need to write to that person.

When you write to someone in ICE detention, you need to put their name and their A#. So the address will look like this:

First Name Last Name A#123456789

Facility Name

Facility Address

Depending on the facility, you may be able to send stamps or a SASE. We will try to let you know when we send the other information.

If you feel uncomfortable using your own address, we have a couple of options for volunteers. One involves using our PO Box and having the letter forwarded to you through snail mail, while the other uses another address and e-mail scanning to make the turnaround time faster.

It’s a good idea to check the ICE Locator just before writing in case the person has been moved. Go to: . You can also check the status of their case by using the EOIR Online Automated Case Information Site.

If you write to a person at Torrance, please keep in touch with Susan Smith, our Torrance coordinator. For Cibola or other facilities, let Kelly McCloskey-Romero, our volunteer coordinator know how your correspondence with them goes and if there’s anything you think we might be able to help them with. You can reach any of the VIDA coordinators at

Please see our FAQ document for more information about our letter-writing program. Here are a couple of sample letters.