CHICAGO — An El Salvadoran national, who is wanted in his home country for aggravated homicide, was deported and turned over to El Salvadoran law enforcement officials Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Francisco Piche-Aguilar, 23, was deported via government charter flight May 30. An Interpol arrest warrant was issued for Piche-Aguilar Dec. 9, 2010, in connection with the stabbing death of a 37-year-old victim in February 2010.
Piche-Aguilar entered the United States July 17, 2010 on a temporary visitor's visa. He remained in the United States illegally after his visa expired. On July 18, 2011, Piche-Aguilar was encountered by Hoffman Estates (Ill.) police after they received a tip regarding a person wanted for murder. Local authorities contacted ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Piche-Aguila was taken into ICE custody.
On Feb. 2, a federal immigration judge in Chicago ordered Piche-Aguilar deported. A subsequent appeal of the judge's decision was withdrawn by Piche-Aguilar April 17, and the removal order became final.
"This individual attempted to escape justice in El Salvador by seeking safe haven in the United States," said Ricardo Wong, ERO Chicago field office director. "On a daily basis, ICE protects public safety by arresting and removing international fugitives who pose a threat to our communities."
ERO is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security. ERO also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system including immigration fugitives or those criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.
As a result of these types of initiatives, for three years in a row, ICE has removed more aliens than were removed in fiscal year (FY) 2008. Overall, in FY 2011 ICE removed 396,906 individuals nationwide - the largest number in the agency's history. Of these, nearly 55 percent or 216,698 were convicted criminals - an 89 percent increase since FY 2008. This figure includes 1,119 aliens convicted of homicide, 5,849 aliens convicted of sexual offenses, 44,653 aliens convicted of drug-related crimes, and 35,927 aliens convicted of driving under the influence.