All volunteer detained migrant visitation and advocacy organization running Civi 5.10.4. under Wordpress 5.1.1. ICE uses an A# to identify people and we'd like to use this number to track folks as well. I set up a detained persons individual contact subtype and placed the A# field under this contact type.

We're trying to use caldera forms for our volunteers to enter data about letters, phone calls, visits for detained persons. When entering data based on name and A# I'm getting duplicate records from identical information. I tried to create a dedupe rule, but don't find fields associated with detained persons individual contact subtype. Is there a way I can dedupe based on A# which is a detained person specific field?

  • 2
    Can you use the external id field? It won't let you enter duplicates. Or some other field like nickname which you can dedupe on.
    – Demerit
    Mar 27, 2019 at 17:14
  • 1
    @N.Craig is there a reason why you've not used the External Identifier for this? You would be able to create the dedupe rules for this. Mar 27, 2019 at 17:15
  • @Demerit great minds think alike! Mar 27, 2019 at 17:16
  • haha! . . . . . . .
    – Demerit
    Mar 27, 2019 at 17:27
  • This is the first I became aware of External Identifier, but now I see it. I'd like the field name to be A# rather than External Identifier. Is there a way to rename the field or have the A# field update to External Identifier?
    – ncraig
    Mar 27, 2019 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


I made the A# field part of Individual rather than the Detained Persons an Individual sub-type. Many non-detained persons have A#'s so its appropriate. Now that A# is at the Individual level, it was possible to add it to an unsupervised dedupe rule like email. This seems to be working.

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