ENFORCEMENT AND REMOVAL
ICE ERO Phoenix removes Salvadoran national wanted for murder
PHOENIX — On Wednesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed Salvadoran national Jonathan Alexander Mejia-Santos, 31, to El Salvador. Mejia-Santos is wanted by law enforcement officials in his home country for allegedly participating in a murder related to gang activity. Once in El Salvador, ICE ERO transferred custody to the Policia Nacional Civil (PNC) of El Salvador.
On Dec.12, 2018, the U.S. Border Patrol arrested Mejia-Santos, after he illegally entered the U.S. near Lukeville, Arizona and placed him in removal proceedings.
On Aug. 27, a federal immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review ordered him removed from the U.S. to El Salvador. Mejia-Santos appealed this decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA); however the BIA dismissed his appeal and upheld the immigration judge’s decision Jan. 31.
“This removal shows how effective cooperation between U.S. and Salvadoran law enforcement authorities helps keep our communities safe from violent transnational aliens who try to find safe haven from their crimes in our country,” said Albert Carter, acting field office director for ICE ERO Phoenix. “Such cases emphasize the vital nature of ICE’s mission.”
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ICE ERO has removed more than 3,700 foreign fugitives from the United States who were sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. In fiscal year 2019,ICE ERO arrested 143,000 aliens, more than 86 percent of whom had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges, and removed or repatriated 267,000 aliens.
ICE ERO 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-enter the country after prior removal, and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.