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September 7, 2023Harlingen, TX, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Harlingen arrests 8 noncitizens with criminal convictions during nationwide operation

HARLINGEN, Texas U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Harlingen announced the arrests of eight noncitizens during a national operation that ran from Aug. 4-25. Officers focused enforcement efforts against priority removable fugitive noncitizens — specifically, those identified as having criminal convictions for crimes including burglary, domestic violence, driving under the influence, drug distribution or trafficking, sexual abuse or exploitation, or unlawful possession or use of a firearm — as well as noncitizens with an executable final order of removal who have reentered the United States illegally after having been previously removed.

“We are proud of the work our officers accomplished during this operation. We remain steadfast every day to ensure the safety of our communities,” said ERO Harlingen Field Office Director Miguel Vergara. “Removing these noncitizens and keeping our nation secure will continue to be a priority.”

Officers prioritized enforcement actions in accordance with the Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law issued by Secretary Mayorkas on Sept. 30, 2021, and reinstituted on June 28.

Those arrested include:

  • A 50-year-old citizen of Mexico who was convicted by the 105th District Court of Nueces County in Corpus Christi of assault family violence by impeding breath and circulation. He also had a previous conviction in U.S. District Court Southern District in Houston for illegal reentry by previously deported noncitizen after felony conviction.
  • A 36-year-old citizen of Mexico who was convicted by the Nueces County Court at Law No. Four in Corpus Christi of evading arrest/detention and by the Nueces County Court at Law No. One driving while intoxicated on two separate occasions.
  • A 40-year-old citizen of Mexico who was convicted by the 430th State District Court in Edinburg of driving while intoxicated with a child under 15 years of age.
  • A 35-year-old citizen of Guatemala who was convicted by County Court Law No. Two in Hidalgo of driving while intoxicated on two separate occasions.

ERO officers evaluate individuals on a case-by-case basis, assessing the totality of the facts and circumstances to make informed arrest determinations. Those cases amenable to federal criminal prosecution can be presented to the U.S. Attorney's Office. ERO also coordinates with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to evaluate the completion of relevant noncitizen applications.

In fiscal year 2022, ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories. This group had 198,498 associated charges and convictions, including 21,531 assault offenses, 8,164 sex and sexual assault offenses, 5,554 weapons offenses, 1,501 homicide-related offenses, and 1,114 kidnapping offenses.

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 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. Follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, @EROHarlingen, to learn more about ERO Harlingen's missions and operations.