Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested a Mexican national Tuesday after he was released from the custody of Somerset County.
The man was released after the county failed to honor a detainer that had been lodged against him.
On Jan. 7, 2014, ICE filed an immigration detainer with the Somerset County Jail on Savino Castro-Pena, 61, a Mexican national.
On April 25, 2017, Somerset County Jail released him from custody.
Castro does not have lawful status in the United States, has convictions for felony criminal aggravated assault, obstructing the administration of law and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. Castro is awaiting sentencing for the charges.
On April 25, 2017 ERO Newark officers arrested Castro-Pena in Somerville, New Jersey.
He will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.
“As a nation, we must protect the integrity of our immigration system and the removal of illegal aliens, especially those with a criminal history–this is one of ICE’s top priorities,” said John Tsoukaris, ERO Newark field office director.
“ICE shares the county’s ultimate objective to protect public safety and national security while simultaneously preserving the critical community-police bond.
However, county jails that fail to work with ICE by releasing criminal aliens put their communities at serious risk.”
In fiscal year (FY) 2016, ICE removed or returned 240,255 individuals. Of this total, 174,923 were apprehended while, or shortly after, attempting to illegally enter the United States.
The remaining 65,332 were apprehended in the interior of the United States, and the vast majority were convicted criminals.