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Utah jail honors ICE detainer on Mexican national convicted of murder

SALT LAKE CITY — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Salt Lake City took custody of a Mexican national convicted of murder and aggravated robbery from Utah State Prison Tuesday.

Utah State Prison honored a detainer placed by ICE March 30, 2016, with the Salt Lake County Adult Detention Center, Utah and released Marco Antonio Garcia Arriaga, 30, directly to ICE custody to affect his removal from the United States.

“When local jurisdictions honor ICE detainers and release dangerous criminal illegal aliens directly into our custody everyone from the arresting officer to the community-at-large is safer from crime,” said Sylvester Ortega, acting field office director for ERO Salt Lake City. “The public needs to know that cooperation between all law enforcement agencies makes their communities safer by providing justice and closure for their victims. We will continue to protect the community from criminal illegal aliens that hurt the citizens of this country.”

Garcia Arriaga has a conviction for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance from 2011 and was removed from the U.S. the same year. He returned in 2012 and was charged with illegal reentry to the U.S, a felony, and sentenced to 10 months in prison and removed Jan. 7, 2013. On an unknown date he returned to the U.S. a third time and was arrested for homicide and aggravated robbery May 29, 2016. He was sentenced by the 3rd District Court of Utah Oct. 28, 2019 and served time in state prison for his crimes.

ICE lodges detainers on individuals who have been arrested on criminal charges and who ICE has probable cause to believe are removable aliens.

The detainer asks the other law enforcement agency to notify ICE in advance of release and to maintain custody of the alien for a brief period of time so that ICE can take custody of that person in a safe and secure setting upon release from that agency’s custody. When law enforcement agencies honor immigration detainers it ensures ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission.

ICE focuses its limited resources, first and foremost, on those who pose the greatest threat to public safety and border security and does not target aliens indiscriminately; the agency conducts investigations and gathers intelligence on specific individuals for immigration enforcement.

Targets are often those who were arrested on local criminal charges or have blatant disregard for U.S. immigration laws. The agency’s arrest statistics clearly reflect this. Nationally, approximately 86 percent of all people arrested by ICE during fiscal year 2019 either had a criminal conviction, a pending criminal charge, had illegally re-entered the United States after being previously removed (a felony charge) or were an immigration fugitive subject to a judge’s final order of removal.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/03/2020