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April 30, 2024Harlingen, TX, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Harlingen removes noncitizen wanted for aggravated extortion in El Salvador

HARLINGEN, Texas — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Harlingen removed an undocumented noncitizen wanted by authorities in El Salvador for aggravated extortion. Deportation officers removed Cindy Patricia Quintanilla, 35, a citizen of El Salvador, from the United States to El Salvador April 24.

“ERO will continue to protect our nation through enforcing immigration laws and removing wanted criminals back to their home country,” said ERO Harlingen Field Office Director Miguel Vergara.

On Aug. 31, 2023, Quintanilla entered the United States at or near Rio Grande City without inspection, admission or parole by an immigration officer.

On Sept. 1, 2023, U.S. Border Patrol arrested Quintanilla and served her with a notice and order of expedited removal. On Sept. 4, she entered ICE custody. On Sept. 18, the ICE assistant attaché for removals in El Salvador confirmed Quintanilla is wanted there for aggravated extortion.

On April 24, 2024, she was removed to El Salvador and transferred to local authorities without incident.

ERO conducts removals of individuals without a lawful basis to remain in the United States, including at the order of immigration judges with the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is a separate entity from the Department of Homeland Security and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case, determining if a noncitizen is subject to a final order of removal or eligible for certain forms of relief from removal.

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.