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February 23, 2024Harlingen, TX, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Harlingen arrests unlawfully present Mexican national with multiple removals

HARLINGEN, Texas — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Harlingen arrested an unlawfully present Mexican national convicted of driving while intoxicated and illegal reentry with a pending illegal reentry charge. Deportation officers from ERO Harlingen made the apprehension Feb. 15 in Edinburg.

“This noncitizen has a criminal history and was in the U.S. unlawfully,” said ERO Harlingen Field Office Director Miguel Vergara. “We will not allow criminals to overrun our communities. Noncitizens who commit crimes and are not legally present in the U.S. will be found and removed to their home country.”

The Mexican citizen unlawfully entered the United States near Weslaco in October 2017. He was detained and served with a noticed and order of expedited removal to Mexico. He was also removed to Mexico in December 2017, September 2019, and most recently on July 14, 2021, after reentering at an unknown place and time; he was convicted of illegal reentry on July 15, 2021.

On Nov. 28, 2023, the Mexican citizen, who was on probation, was convicted of driving while intoxicated.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas accepted the case for a violation of reentry after removal. The noncitizen will be held at the East Hidalgo Detention Center pending his hearing before a Federal Magistrate.

Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges with the Executive Office for Immigration Review. EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice and is separate from the 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 federal immigration judges.

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 @EROHarlingen.