ICE Removes Illegal MS-13 Gang Member Wanted for Murder from DeBlasio’s Sanctuary City


NEW YORK – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed a Salvadoran national Thursday, wanted in her home country on aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder charges. Elda Cuadra-Torres, 29, was removed from the United States via an ICE Air Operations Charter flight and transferred into the custody of Salvadoran law enforcement authorities.

“This dangerous individual, and confirmed member of MS-13, wanted in her home country for murder, has been removed from the community, thanks to the courageous efforts of ERO deportation officers,” said Thomas Decker, field office director, New York. “Despite the political rhetoric by local and state officials, and the public safety danger jurisdictions face by not honoring ICE detainers, and ignoring the crisis on the border, my deportation officers continue to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, as enacted by Congress, while promoting ICE’s public safety efforts in the New York City metropolitan area.”

According to Salvadoran law enforcement authorities, Cuadra-Torres, an MS-13 gang member, and others, murdered an individual in San Miguel, El Salvador. On July 2, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol arrested Cuadra-Torres near Hidalgo, Texas, after she illegally entered the United States and transferred her to ICE custody. On July 2, 2016, Cuadra-Torres was released from ICE custody on the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program. In July 2018, a judge of the Specialized Magistrates’ Court in San Miguel, El Salvador, issued an arrest warrant for Cuadra-Torres for the charge of aggravated murder. In September 2018, Interpol issued a Red Notice identifying Cuadra-Torres as an MS-13 gang member, wanted by Salvadoran law enforcement authorities on charges of aggravated homicide and terrorism acts. On Oct. 16, 2018, ERO’s Transnational Law Enforcement Operations Unit advised ERO New York that Cuadra-Torres was an active MS-13 gang member, wanted on homicide charges in El Salvador. On Oct. 25, 2018, ERO deportation officers arrested Cuadra-Torres at her residence in Huntington Station, New York.

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ERO El Salvador and its Security Alliance for Fugitive Enforcement (SAFE) taskforce provided critical assistance to ERO New York during the investigation of Cuadra-Torres. On March 12, 2019, Cuadra-Torres was ordered removed by an immigration Judge in New York City, paving the way for her removal to El Salvador.

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.

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