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April 6, 2021Seattle, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE removes child molester from US to El Salvador

SEATTLE - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers removed a convicted child molester and public safety threat from the United States to El Salvador, April 6.

Victor Argueta-Linares, 46, is a citizen of El Salvador who was in the United States illegally. In 1997, Argueta-Linares was convicted of both lewd or lascivious acts with a minor and sex offenses against a child, and on Oct. 22, of the same year he was ordered to be removed from the U.S. by an immigration judge.

Argueta-Linares has been removed from the U.S. to El Salvador on two previous occasions. He recently came to the attention of immigration officials, Dec 6, after he was booked on local charges at the King County Jail. ERO officers lodged an immigration detainer the same day.

ICE lodges immigration detainers on individuals, like Argueta-Linares, 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 Dec. 14, the South Correction Entity (SCORE) in King County, Washington declined to honor the immigration detainer and released Argueta-Linares. On Dec. 21, ERO arrested Argueta-Linares during a targeted enforcement operation.

ERO reinstated his previous order of removal and on April 6, Argueta-Linares was removed from the United States via an ICE Air Operations charter flight and transferred to the custody of Salvadoran authorities.

ICE is implementing the interim civil immigration enforcement priorities directed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to focus its limited resources on threats to national security, border security and public safety. ICE continues to carry out its duty to enforce the laws of the United States in accordance with the Department’s national security and public safety mission.