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May 5, 2015San Salvador, El SalvadorEnforcement and Removal

ICE removes Salvadoran man convicted for homicide

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — A 39-year-old Salvadoran man convicted for homicide in his home country was removed to El Salvador April 28 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers in San Antonio, Texas.  

Wilfredo Hernandez Pastora was charged with homicide Oct. 15 and later convicted. He fled to the United States after having been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.

He illegally entered the United States near Pharr, Texas, in December and was placed into removal proceedings after being encountered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. On March 18, an immigration judge found him ineligible for immigration relief and ordered him removed from the United States.

“Hernandez Pastora’s removal should serve as a testament to ERO’s commitment to identifying and removing wanted foreign fugitives,” said San Antonio Field Office Director Enrique Lucero. “We will not allow our country to be used as a safe haven by criminals trying to evade justice.”

Hernandez Pastora 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 identifying foreign fugitives who are wanted abroad and removable under U.S. immigration law.

In just three years, through the SAFE Initiative, ERO has removed more than 540 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 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.