SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – A 27-year-old MS-13 gang member wanted in El Salvador on aggravated extortion and illicit association charges was removed Friday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers in Boston, Massachusetts.
According to Salvadoran police reports, on May 19, 2011, Jose Genaro Mendez Mendez and his MS-13 associates allegedly threatened to kill a man if he failed to pay $4,000 in U.S. currency. Mendez Mendez allegedly collected $1,500 in U.S. currency and immediately fled the scene with his associates. A warrant for his arrest was issued Aug. 25, 2014.
Mendez Mendez, who illegally entered the United States, was ordered removed by an immigration judge Feb. 24, 2015.
Mendez Mendez is the latest removal to El Salvador as 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 530 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.