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February 29, 2024Boston, MA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Boston arrests 3 Portuguese nationals charged in death of Rhode Island infant

BOSTON — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston arrested three unlawfully present Portuguese nationals who were recently charged with child endangerment following the death of a 1-year-old child in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Deportation officers apprehended the three women, aged 32, 25 and 22, in Pawtucket Feb. 17.

“The alleged crimes of these unlawfully present individuals resulted in the death of an innocent child,” said ERO Boston Field Office Director Todd M. Lyons. “Those who commit crimes against children must be held accountable. Unlawfully present foreign nationals posing a danger to our New England communities cannot expect to escape the consequences of their actions.”

The three Portuguese nationals were arrested Feb. 11 by the Pawtucket Police Department in connection with the child’s death, which occurred under their care. Police also arrested a 25-year-old man alleged to be the child’s father. The three women were charged with felony child endangerment; the alleged father was charged with manslaughter, three counts of second degree child abuse, and child endangerment.

Police responded to their residence on an emergency call and found the boy unresponsive with significant bruising on his face. The child was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

One of the three female Portuguese nationals had been admitted on a nonimmigrant tourist visitor in April 1998 and unlawfully remained in the United States more than 25 years beyond the allowable terms of her visa. The other two Portuguese nationals were admitted to the United States under a visa waiver program — one in July 2016 and the other in March 2022. Both violated the terms of their visa waivers by remaining in the country longer than allowed.

Following their arraignment, all three women posted bail and were released by the 6th Division District Court of Rhode Island. The child’s alleged father was remanded to the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston, Rhode Island.

In fiscal year 2023, ERO made 170,590 administrative arrests, a 19.5% increase over the previous year. ERO arrested 73,822 noncitizens with a criminal history; those arrested had an average of four charges and convictions per individual, including more than 33,209 charges or convictions for assault, 7,520 for weapons offenses, 1,713 for homicide-related offenses, and 1,615 for kidnapping. Removals also included 3,406 known or suspected gang members, 139 known or suspected terrorists, seven human rights violators, and 108 foreign fugitives wanted by their governments for crimes including homicide, rape, terrorism and kidnapping. Also in fiscal year 2023, ERO conducted 142,580 removals to more than 170 countries worldwide.

As one of ICE’s three operational directorates, ERO is the principal federal law enforcement authority in charge of domestic immigration enforcement. ERO’s mission is to protect the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of U.S. communities and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws, and its primary areas of focus are interior enforcement operations, management of the agency’s detained and non-detained populations and the repatriation of noncitizens who have received final orders of removal. ERO’s workforce consists of more than 7,700 law enforcement and non-law enforcement support personnel across 25 domestic field offices and 208 locations nationwide, 30 overseas postings and multiple temporary duty travel assignments along the border.

Members of the public can report crime and suspicious activity by calling 866-347-2423 or completing the online tip form.

Learn more about ICE’s mission to increase public safety in your community on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @EROBoston.