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December 29, 2020Seattle, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE removes child molester living illegally in Washington state

Criminal alien also convicted of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes

SEATTLE – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers removed a Mexican illegal alien, convicted of child molestation and living illegally in Washington state, to Mexico Tuesday.

On May 5, 2019, Ricardo Arturo Santiago-Silva, 46, was convicted in Skagit County, Washington, of child molestation and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. He was sentenced to 31 months confinement and transferred to the Washington Corrections Center in Sheldon.

On June 13, 2019, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers lodged an immigration detainer with the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC).

ICE lodges immigration detainers on individuals, such as Santiago-Silva, who have been arrested on local criminal charges and who are suspected of being removable, so that ICE can take custody of that person when he or she is released from local custody.

On November 5, Santiago-Silva was released from the WDOC, transferred to ICE custody and housed at the Northwest ICE Processing Center pending immigration proceedings.

“By turning this convicted child predator and immigration violator over to ICE, our law enforcement partners are showing a continued commitment to protecting young victims,” said ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Seattle Field Office Director Nathalie Asher. “The immigration detainer allowed ICE to take custody of this dangerous individual versus him being released to the streets where he could potentially prey on additional children.”

On December 15, an immigration judge ordered Santiago-Silva removed from the United States.

Santiago-Silva was removed from the U.S. via an ICE Air Operations charter flight and transferred to the custody of Mexican authorities.

ICE is charged with enforcing federal immigration laws enacted by Congress. ICE officers are sworn law enforcement officers who carry out the arrest, detention and removal of aliens found to be in the United States unlawfully.

Aliens processed for removal may receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice and is separate from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case. ICE officers carry out the removal decisions made by the federal immigration judges. For more information on EOIR, visit: