SAN ANTONIO — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) San Antonio, with assistance from ERO El Paso, removed Francisco Javier Valenzuela Quezada, 57, a citizen of Mexico with a final order of removal on Sept. 14. Valenzuela is a foreign fugitive wanted by law enforcement authorities in Mexico for aggravated sexual assault.
“We are grateful for the joint collaboration of our officers and the El Paso officers in removing this fugitive noncitizen to Mexico,” said ERO San Antonio interim Field Office Director Garrett Ripa. “The joint efforts of our offices help make our communities safer.”
On March 4, Valenzuela was admitted into the United States through the Presidio Port of Entry in Presidio, Texas, as a nonimmigrant with authorization to remain in the country until Sept. 3, 2023. On March 10, the U.S. State Department revoked Valenzuela’s permission to be in the United States after a records check revealed he was wanted by Mexican authorities.
On March 17, ERO San Antonio officers located and arrested Valenzuela in San Antonio pursuant to a referral from the U.S. Marshals Service. ERO San Antonio issued Valenzuela a notice to appear before an immigration judge. On the same date, ERO San Antonio transferred Valenzuela to the South Texas ICE Processing Center to await his immigration proceedings.
On Aug. 7, an immigration judge from the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) ordered Valenzuela removed from the United States to Mexico.
On Sept. 7, ERO San Antonio transferred Valenzuela to ERO El Paso to await his removal from the United States. He was removed on Sept. 14.
EOIR is a separate entity from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case, determining if a noncitizen is subject to a final order of removal or eligible for certain forms of relief from removal. Once a noncitizen is subject to a final order of removal issued by an immigration judge or other lawful means, ICE officers may carry out the removal.
As one of ICE’s three operational directorates, ERO is the principal federal law enforcement authority in charge of domestic immigration enforcement. ERO’s mission is to protect the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of U.S. communities and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws, and its primary areas of focus are interior enforcement operations, management of the agency’s detained and non-detained populations, and repatriation of noncitizens who have received final orders of removal. ERO’s workforce consists of more than 7,700 law enforcement and non-law enforcement support personnel across 25 domestic field offices and 208 locations nationwide, 30 overseas postings, and multiple temporary duty travel assignments along the border.