SEATTLE, Wash. - On Jan. 24, officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested Medardo Cruz-Ventura, a Mexican citizen, who is an illegally present criminal alien that has been removed from the United States on multiple occasions.
During the Jan. 24 encounter with officers from the Seattle field office, Cruz-Ventura ignored lawful commands and refused to exit or unlock his vehicle. Officers explained repeatedly to Cruz-Ventura, in both Spanish and English, that he was required to open the door or the officers would break the window in order to arrest him. After approximately 30 minutes, and after all other efforts were exhausted, a final warning was given, including a warning to occupants to shield themselves. Officers then shattered the vehicle window and removed the still resisting Cruz-Ventura from the vehicle. There were no injuries sustained during this arrest.
Cruz-Ventura is a repeat immigration violator who has been arrested by U.S. Border Patrol on multiple occasions after illegally entering the United States from Mexico. Cruz-Ventura has been voluntarily returned to Mexico on three separate occasions between 2000 and 2012. Each time, he was allowed to voluntarily return to his native Mexico in lieu of being placed into formal removal proceedings before a federal immigration judge.
A fourth arrest by U.S. Border Patrol, in which Cruz-Ventura was again found to have illegally entered the United States without inspection, resulted in a conviction in the United States District Court, District of Arizona, May 14, 2012, for the offense of illegal entry. Cruz-Ventura was formally removed to Mexico the same day.
Four months later, on Sept. 19, 2012, Cruz-Ventura was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol after illegally entering the United States near Tucson, AZ. Cruz-Ventura was once again removed from the United States to Mexico on Sept. 22, 2012.
ICE is responsible for enforcing more than 400 federal laws, including the Immigration and Nationality Act. Resisting arrest or otherwise interfering with ICE officers in the performance of their sworn duties is a crime, and anyone involved may be subject to prosecution under federal law. In addition, encouraging others to interfere or attempt to obstruct ICE officers is extremely reckless, unlawful, and adds an element of risk to all parties involved.
“Congress has established no process, requirement, or expectation that ICE seek a judicial warrant from already overburdened federal courts before taking custody of an alien on civil immigration violations,” said Asher. “Advocacy groups who spread misinformation and encourage people to resist arrest and demand judicial warrants, are doing nothing but endangering the community. This idea is simply a figment created by those who wish to undermine immigration enforcement, and puts politics before public safety.”
Aliens processed for removal may receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice, and is separate from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case. ICE officers carry out the removal decisions made by the federal immigration judges. For more information on EOIR, visit: https://www.justice.gov/eoir/.
Cruz-Ventura is currently in ICE custody at the Northwest ICE Processing Center in Tacoma, Washington, pending further immigration proceedings.