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Enforcement and Removal

Mexican wanted for murder turned over to Mexican authorities

MIAMI - A 24-year-old Mexican national wanted for the murder of a Mexican woman was deported here yesterday by U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE). Fernando Nieves-Hernandez was deported under ICE escort and handed over to Mexican authorities and special agents from the ICE Attaché Office in Mexico City.

Nieves-Hernandez was arrested in Miami by ICE in coordination with the U.S. Marshals Service in August 2007 based on an INTERPOL warrant for his arrest.

Nieves-Hernandez fled to the U.S. after allegedly killing Elizabeth Mendez-Avila in the municipality of Tequisquiapan. According to Mexican authorities, Nieves-Hernandez and Mendez-Avila were drinking alcohol in Nieves-Hernandez's home on Aug. 25, 2006. Hours later, Mendez-Avila's body was discovered abandoned in a pickup truck in the community of El Cerrito. According to reports, Mendez-Avila received serious blows to the head and in different parts of her body. Nieves-Hernandez was allegedly the last person to see her. A subsequent search of Nieves-Hernandez' home revealed blood stains that were linked to the victim.

"We are committed to working with our international law enforcement partners to ensure that those who seek to hide in the United States are quickly found and brought to justice," said Michael Rozos, ICE field office director for the Office of Detention and Removal in Florida. "We commend the Mexican authorities for their diligent work on this case. This was truly a team effort."

Nieves-Hernandez was ordered deported by an immigration judge on Dec. 31, 2007.

This enforcement action is part of the second phase of the Secure Border Initiative (SBI), a comprehensive multi-year plan launched by the Department of Homeland Security to secure America's borders and reduce illegal migration. Under SBI, Homeland Security seeks to gain operational control of both the northern and southern borders, while re-engineering the detention and removal system to ensure that illegal aliens are removed from the country quickly and efficiently. SBI also involves strong interior enforcement efforts, including enhanced worksite enforcement investigations and intensified efforts to track down and remove illegal aliens inside this country.