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July 19, 2019New York, NY, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE removes Spanish national wanted for narcotics charges

NEW YORK – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed a Spanish national Monday, wanted in her home country on narcotics trafficking charges. Martha Valencia-Gutierrez, 50, was removed from the United States via a commercial flight and transferred into the custody of Spanish law enforcement authorities.

“Valencia-Gutierrez is yet another example of a criminal seeking refuge among our communities while avoiding prosecution in her home country,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York. “As criminal aliens continue to circumvent our country’s laws, ICE will continue to arrest those bad actors and remove them from the United States.”

In May 2016, Valencia-Gutierrez entered the U.S under the Visa Waiver Program with authorization to remain until August 2016. On Feb. 1, 2017, ERO Headquarters notified ERO New York that Valencia-Gutierrez was wanted on narcotics trafficking charges in Spain, and may be residing in the New York City metropolitan area. On June 6, 2019, ERO deportation officers arrested Valencia-Gutierrez, in East Moriches, New York, on immigration charges, paving the way for her removal to Spain.

ICE removed or returned 258,085 aliens in fiscal year 2018. Enforcement and removal operations arrested 158,581 aliens, 90 percent of whom had criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, or previously issued final orders. The overall arrest figure represents an 11 percent increase over fiscal year 2017.

ICE is focused on removing public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.