U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ‘s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested a previously deported Mexican national and convicted child sex offender Thursday in Greensboro, North Carolina. Alejandro Cortez-Lezo, an unlawfully present Mexican national, was arrested outside his Greensboro residence Thursday morning by a Greensboro-area ICE Fugitive Operations Team.
Cortez-Lezo was previously convicted in Guilford County in March 2003 on a felony charge of indecent liberties with a child and was registered as a sex offender that same month. ICE took him into custody in April 2003 and he was removed to Mexico in May 2003.
Mr. Cortez-Lezo subsequently illegally re-entered the U.S. after deportation, which is a felony act.
“Nearly 90 percent of all foreign nationals taken into ICE custody this year were targeted due to a criminal arrest. Despite efforts by certain groups to misrepresent this reality, the fact is ICE continues to focus its enforcement efforts toward criminals and public safety threats,” said ERO Atlanta Field Office Director Sean Gallagher.
Thus far in FY18, more than two-thirds of all persons arrested by ICE are convicted criminals. Of the remaining individuals, approximately 60 percent of those individuals came into ICE custody following their criminal arrest – reflecting the agency ‘s continued prioritization of its limited enforcement resources on aliens who pose the greatest threat to public safety.
Mr. Cortez-Lezo was indicted federally in the Middle District of North Carolina Jan. 31 for illegally re-entering the U.S. after removal. He is currently in Justice Department custody awaiting federal prosecution on the felony charge. ICE will seek to remove him again from the United States following the resolution of criminal charges and any potential prison sentence he may face.