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August 3, 2022Harlingen, TX, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Harlingen removes Salvadoran fugitive wanted for sexual assault of minor

HARLINGEN, Texas – Deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Harlingen office, with assistance from ERO El Salvador and its Security Alliance for Fugitive Enforcement (SAFE) taskforce, removed an unlawfully present Salvadoran national wanted in his home country for sexual assault of a minor.

Michael Alberto Benitez-Castro, 19, was removed July 29 via ICE Air Operations, arriving at the Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Salvador, El Salvador, where he was turned over to authorities without incident.

“Individuals who commit crimes in their home countries will not find refuge in the United States”, said Denice Seemiller, acting field office director for ERO Harlingen. “Our officers remain steadfast in keeping our communities safe and removing wanted fugitives.”

Benitez-Castro was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol on May 6 near Hidalgo, and served him with a notice to appear and an order of expedited removal due to being an immigrant without an immigration visa.

On May 12, Benitez-Castro entered ICE custody and was designated a public safety threat due to the open warrant issued for his arrest Jan. 13 from the Juzgado de Instruccion in El Salvador for sexual assault of a minor.

On July 7, an immigration judge ordered Benitez-Castro removed from the U.S.

Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives are urged to contact ICE by calling the ICE Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.

Updated: 08/17/2022