FAIRFAX, Va. – An El Salvadoran man wanted for extortion in his home country was removed from the United States Wednesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Edwar Alvarez-Garcia, 29, of El Salvador, illegally entered the United States near Laredo, Texas, in 2001.
Interpol issued a Red Notice for Alvarez-Garcia based on an active El Salvadoran arrest warrant for extortion. Alvarez-Garcia allegedly revealed a gun and threatened an El Salvadoran business owner saying he would kill the business’ employees if the business owner did not pay him a monthly fee. ERO Washington officers encountered Alvarez-Garcia after he was released from the Washington, D.C., jail in October 2014. Alvarez-Garcia has a final order of removal to El Salvador.
ERO officers removed Alvarez-Garcia from the United States Wednesday via a flight from Alexandria, Louisiana, to San Salvador, El Salvador. Upon arrival in El Salvador, ERO officers transferred him to the custody of El Salvadoran law enforcement authorities.
This removal was part of ERO’s Security Alliance for Fugitive Enforcement (SAFE) Initiative. The SAFE Initiative is geared toward the identification of foreign fugitives who are wanted abroad and removable under US immigration law.
In just three years, through the SAFE Initiative, ERO has removed more than 500 criminal fugitives to El Salvador. Those removed as part of the SAFE Initiative have been deemed ineligible to remain in the United States and were all wanted by the Policia Nacional Civil (PNC), El Salvador’s national police.
SAFE aligns with ERO’s public safety priorities and eliminates the need for formal extradition requests.
In fiscal year 2014, ERO removed 315,943 individuals from the United States. In addition to convicted criminals, the agency's enforcement priorities include those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants — individuals who returned to the United States after being previously removed by ICE — and immigration fugitives. In fiscal year 2014, 98 percent of ICE removals met these priorities.