NEW YORK – US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) officers removed Luis Gerardo Duran-Hernandez, 27, an unlawfully present foreign fugitive, to El Salvador on Nov. 13.
An ICE Air Operations charter flight carrying Duran-Hernandez arrived at the Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Salvador, where ERO New York deportation officers transferred custody of the fugitive to Salvadoran government officials.
Duran-Hernandez unlawfully entered the United States in 2014. In July 2017, Salvadoran government officials issued a warrant for his arrest for firearm and drug possession charges.
Duran-Hernandez was initially encountered by US Border Patrol on Oct. 25, 2014, near Rio Grande Valley, Texas, and entered him into immigration proceedings. An immigration judge granted him bond and he was released from custody. In September 2019, an immigration judge ordered Duran-Hernandez’s removal in absentia.
On Dec. 30, 2019, New York City Police Department (NYPD) arrested Duran-Hernandez for first-degree robbery: use/threatens use of dangerous instrument; second-degree robbery: aided by another; and second-degree robbery: causes physical injury. ERO New York officers lodged an immigration detainer on Duran-Hernandez that same day with NYPD. Despite the seriousness of the charges, NYPD did not honor the detainer and released Duran-Hernandez from custody notifying ICE.
In October, ERO New York deportation officers arrested the Duran-Hernandez in Flushing, New York, pursuant to the removal order.
“Throughout the last year, we’ve highlighted multiple instances of how the local city government’s misguided sanctuary city policies force local law enforcement agencies to release dangerous criminals back into our communities,” said Thomas R. Decker, ERO New York field office director. “Protecting public safety is a responsibility that city residents bestow upon local government officials. Forcing law enforcement agencies to release dangerous foreign fugitives like Duran-Hernandez from custody without notifying ICE is not only negligent; it’s a betrayal of public trust. If local politicians continue to make New York City a sanctuary for criminals around the world, the people living in this city will suffer the consequences.”