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June 27, 2023New York, NY, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO New York City removes foreign fugitive wanted in Ecuador for aggravated robbery

NEW YORK — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) New York City removed an unlawfully present Ecuadorian citizen from the United States to his home country June 22.

Jorge Luis Guaraca Villa, 30, was flown from Alexandria, Louisiana, on a flight coordinated by ICE’s Air Operations Unit to José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

ERO New York City encountered Guaraca on May 10 outside the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Yaphank, New York, and detained him pursuant to an outstanding removal order. The next day, ERO New York City was notified that Guaraca was wanted in Ecuador for the criminal offense of aggravated robbery.

“This individual mistakenly thought seeking refuge New York City would preclude him from facing justice in his home country,” said ERO New York City Field Office Director Kenneth Genalo. “Guaraca’s removal reflects our ongoing commitment to preserving public safety in our New York communities. We will continue to work with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to apprehend these fugitives and repatriate them to their country of origin to face justice for their alleged crimes.”

On an unknown date and at an unknown location, Guaraca entered the United States unlawfully.

On Jan. 19, 2013, DHS officials issued served Guaraca with a notice to appear charging document ordering him to attend immigration removal proceedings. On July 8, 2014, an immigration judge in New York, New York, ordered Guaraca removed in absentia to Ecuador after Guaraca failed to appear for his hearing.

Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). 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. ERO officers carry out the removal decisions made by the federal immigration judges.

ERO officers make enforcement decisions on a case-by-case basis in a professional and responsible manner, informed by their experience as law enforcement officials and in a way that best protects against the greatest threats to the homeland and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws.

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.

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.

Members of the public can report crimes and suspicious activity by dialing 866-347-2423 or completing ICE’s online tip form.

Learn more about ERO New York City’s mission to preserve public safety on Twitter @ERONewYork.

Updated: 06/27/2023