Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Friday that it has deported a Brazilian illegal immigrant who is wanted in his home country for rape, but who was released into the U.S. in 2021.
Thalles Mendes Ribeiro is described as a foreign fugitive wanted for false imprisonment and rape in Brazil, and was removed last week, the immigration agency said.
He had initially been encountered near San Ysidro, California, on June 10, 2021, after entering the U.S. illegally. U.S. Border Patrol served him with a notice to appear in an immigration court, and ICE released him into the country under the Alternatives to Detention program, under which migrants are given some form of tracking as they await their hearing.
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He was ordered to appear at an immigration hearing on February 24, 2023, in Newark, NJ, but didn’t show up. He was eventually arrested in December in New Jersey during a targeted enforcement action.
“The protection of the American public from dangerous predators is the number one priority of the ERO mission,” ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operation (ERO) Philadelphia Field Office Director Cammilla Wamsley said in a statement. “We will continue to vehemently target individuals who pose a threat to the American public.”
The deportation comes amid a continuing border crisis, in which Border Patrol agents have frequently been left overwhelmed by the record numbers they are seeing.
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There were more than 302,000 migrant encounters in December, a new record after a record FY 23 that saw 2.4 million encounters. Republicans have expressed concern about the continued release of migrants into the interior, while the Biden administration has said it needs more funding and congressional action to fix a “broken” system.
Lawmakers are currently working to find a deal to provide supplemental funding requested by the White House. The Biden administration has sought $14 billion in funding for the border, including for expedited removals, aid to cities and increased detention. But Republicans have demanded stricter asylum limits and a limit on the administration’s use of parole. The proposed text of the legislation is expected in the coming days.
The announcement of Ribeiro’s removal follows an ICE announcement that it had swept up 100 illegal immigrants wanted for crimes, including child sexual assault and murder, across the country.
Those arrested include individuals wanted for or convicted of child molestation, child pornography, rape and murder.
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ICE says that it arrested more than 73,000 illegal immigrants with criminal histories in FY 23, with over 290,000 associated charges and convictions.
Fox News’ Bill Melugin and Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.