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July 26, 2022Los Angeles, CA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Los Angeles removes Armenian with multiple prior removals

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Los Angeles field office removed an Armenian citizen with two prior removals. Deportation officers transferred custody of Vigen Patatanyan, 59, to Armenian authorities at the Zvartnots International Airport in Yerevan, Armenia, without incident, May 7.

Patatanyan, who was unlawfully present, first entered the U.S. Feb. 19, 2000, at a Los Angeles airport on a nonimmigrant visa with authorization to remain in the United States for six months. An immigration judge in San Francisco ordered Patatanyan removed from the U.S. in April 2001.

Patatanyan filed a motion to reopen his case with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). His motion was denied and Patatanyan was removed from the U.S. to Armenia in March 2004.

On Sept. 15, 2004, Patatanyan applied for admission into the U.S. at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in Otay Mesa. An immigration judge in San Diego ordered the Armenian removed in February 2005. Patatanyan exercised his due process and filed another appeal with the BIA March 16, 2005. The appeal was dismissed June 20, 2005, and he was removed a second time from the U.S. to Armenia Oct. 5, 2005.

Patatanyan was again encountered by U.S. Border Patrol agents Feb. 9, 2016 in San Diego and he was referred for prosecution for illegal reentry to the U.S. The U.S. District Court, Southern District of California convicted Patatanyan of illegal entry into the U.S. on Feb. 23. On May 12, he filed a third appeal with the BIA and was denied the motion on the same day. He filed a fourth appeal to the BIA and was denied June 20, 2016.

Patatanyan filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and was denied Feb. 19, 2019.

ERO Los Angeles deportation officers arrested Patatanyan in the community March 29, 2022, and placed him in custody until his removal to Armenia could be completed.

Regardless of nationality, ICE makes custody determinations on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with U.S. law and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy.

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-2-ICE or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.