PHOENIX - A Mexican citizen with an extensive criminal history was sentenced to more than five years in prison after pleading guilty to illegally re-entering the United States after a prior deportation.
Victor Manuel Perez-Monroy, 51, was sentenced August 5 to 70 months in prison. Perez-Monroy was arrested on local charges in September 2007 by the Phoenix Police Department. Perez-Monroy, who was deported to Mexico through Nogales, Ariz., in December 2002, has an extensive criminal history in Arizona, including three convictions for burglary./p>
Perez-Monroy was identified for prosecution by a special Prosecutions Unit in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention and Removal Operation's Phoenix Field Office, which was established last spring to review criminal and fugitive alien cases for federal prosecution. This week alone the Unit identified 23 cases that were accepted for prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
"A criminal alien who is serving time in federal prison is not going to be out victimizing our communities," said Katrina S. Kane, field office director for ICE detention and removal operations in Arizona. "What's more, felony immigration prosecutions send a strong message to those who might be considering re-entering the country after a deportation that there will be serious consequences for their actions."
The heightened focus on re-entry prosecutions is part of the Department of Homeland Security's multi-year plan to secure America's borders and reduce illegal migration. That strategy seeks to gain operational control of both the northern and southern borders, while re-engineering the detention and removal system to ensure that illegal aliens are removed from the country quickly and efficiently.