ATLANTA – A Guatemalan national, with dual citizenship in Mexico, was removed from the United States Wednesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Orlando Escobar-Leon, aka Eduardo Morales Esquivel, 42, was a leader in a multinational alien smuggling network that was responsible for smuggling East African and Bangladeshi nationals from Colombia into Central America, and eventually, the United States. Due to the high-profile nature of his crimes, officers with ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) turned him over to Guatemalan law enforcement authorities upon his arrival in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Between March 2008 and August 2009, Escobar-Leon and 12 co-conspirators facilitated the smuggling of more than 100 unauthorized illegal aliens into the United States. In return for his services, Escobar-Leon received between $350 and $1,500 per individual.
“This individual completely disregarded the value of human lives,” said acting ERO Atlanta Field Office Director David Rivera. “He manipulated the immigration systems of multiple countries, solely to benefit his bottom line.”
In January 2010, Escobar-Leon was charged in the United States via criminal
complaint with conspiracy to encourage and induce unauthorized aliens to come, enter and reside in the United States. In March 2010, Mexican law enforcement authorities arrested him in coordination with special agents from ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Mexico City. He was subsequently extradited to the United States where he was arrested and charged for harboring aliens and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government. He pleaded guilty to those charges and was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison in March. Based on the fact that Escobar-Leon was only extradited to the United States to face charges, he did not have legal immigration status to remain in the United States. Upon his release from prison, he was transferred to ICE custody and processed as an expedited removal. He was detained at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga., before ERO officers removed him back to Guatemala City.
On December 20, 2012 ICE issued a news release that reported on the deportation of Orlando Escobar-Leon, aka Eduardo Morales Esquivel, an illegal alien possessing dual citizenship in Mexico and Guatemala. Escobar-Leon headed an alien smuggling network with 12 other co-conspirators whose identities and other background information were not divulged. Also unreported was the smugglers current location and what if anything, ICE is doing to identify and find the more than 100 illegal aliens they snuck into the United States.
According to the available information, the aliens originally came from East Africa and Bangladesh, then via Colombia into Central America and finally to the United States, presumably by crossing America’s southern border with Mexico
Since al-Qaeda has a growing presence in parts of Africa and Bangladesh, Those countries have been identified as having “Special Interest” because of their terrorist associations which ICE also doesn’t mention. As the saying goes, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” But terrorism is concerned, what we don’t know can hurt us!
While it has become fashionable to refer to illegal aliens as being “undocumented” or “unauthorized,” I prefer to use the term used when I was an INS Special Agent by which aliens evaded the inspections process. That term was EWI (EntryWithout Inspection). In other words, they entered surreptitiously—snuck in.
America’s southern border is not secure. Furthermore, currently millions of illegal aliens in the United States who entered via the inspections process either concealed material facts when they secured visas, entered under the auspices of the ever expanding Visa Waiver Program or lied to Customs and Border Protection inspectors.
The lack of interior enforcement, which has historically hobbled meaningful immigration enforcement, is virtually nonexistent under the current administration. Once aliens enter the United States, they’re home free.
America’s national security begins and ends at its borders. Today the borders of the United States also serve another purpose- they constitute the “Finish Line” for aspiring illegal aliens across the world including terrorists and transnational criminals.