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ERO Boston removes unlawfully present Brazilian fugitive wanted for rape in home country

ERO Boston removes unlawfully present Brazilian fugitive wanted for rape in home country

BOSTON — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston removed an unlawfully present Brazilian fugitive being sought by law enforcement authorities in Brazil for raping a vulnerable person. Deportation officers from ERO Boston removed Altair Jose Portuense-Lana, 51, via a flight to Brazil March 22.

“The community is safer today with the removal of Altair Jose Portuense-Lana,” said ERO Boston Field Office Director Todd M. Lyons. “He was being sought for sex offenses in Brazil and represented a threat to New England residents as long as he was walking our streets. ERO Boston will not accept the presence of unlawfully present sex offenders in our neighborhoods, and we will continue to apprehend, arrest and remove such threats from our region.”

Portuense-Lana unlawfully entered the United States on July 22, 2021, in Otay Mesa, California. He was apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol and placed into removal proceedings. He was subsequently placed in an Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program and scheduled for a hearing before a Department of Justice (DOJ) immigration judge.

A criminal and civil court in the city of Inhapim, a municipality in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, has sought to take custody of Portuense-Lana since July 27, 2023, for the offense of rape of a vulnerable individual, or statutory rape of a minor 14 years of age or younger. Portuense-Lana’s case remains pending and carries a sentence of 20 years in prison in Brazil upon conviction.

In June 2022, Portuense-Lana was arrested and subsequently arraigned in Framingham, Massachusetts, on the charges of assault and battery on a family or household member and of intimidation of witnesses, jurors and persons furnishing information in connection with criminal proceedings, a felony crime.

In July 2022, Portuense-Lana was also charged with multiple charges of threats to commit a crime and with violation of a restraining/abuse prevention order. These charges remain pending locally.

On March 4, 2024, a DOJ immigration judge issued a final order of removal for Portuense-Lana in absentia.

After becoming aware of his presence in New England, deportation officers with ERO Boston located and arrested Portuense-Lana without incident. He was held in ICE custody until his removal in flight to Brazil, which took place March 22.

ERO conducts removals of individuals without a lawful basis to remain in the United States, including at the order of immigration judges with the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is a separate entity from the Department of Homeland Security and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case, determining if a noncitizen is subject to a final order of removal or eligible for certain forms of relief from removal.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) ATD program, which began in 2004, uses technology and case management to ensure noncitizen compliance with release conditions, court hearings, and final orders of removal. The program allows ICE to exercise increased supervision over a subset of those on ICE’s docket, using several different monitoring technologies. ATD effectively increases court appearance rates, compliance with release conditions, and helps the participants meet their basic needs and understand their immigration obligations.

Those who are released from custody and enrolled in ATD must comply with the terms and conditions of their release, including appearances at all scheduled court hearings and compliance with ATD requirements. Depending on the circumstances of the case, failure to comply may result in an immigration judge issuing a final order in absentia and may render a noncitizen a priority for arrest and removal by ICE. As with any noncitizen in the United States without lawful status, ICE officers make enforcement decisions on a case-by-case basis to focus on the greatest threats to homeland security in a professional and responsible manner informed by their experience as law enforcement officers.

In fiscal year 2023, ERO made 170,590 administrative arrests, a 19.5% increase over the previous year. ERO arrested 73,822 noncitizens with a criminal history; those arrested had an average of four charges and convictions per individual, including more than 33,209 charges or convictions for assault, 7,520 for weapons offenses, 1,713 for homicide-related offenses, and 1,615 for kidnapping. Removals also included 3,406 known or suspected gang members, 139 known or suspected terrorists, seven human rights violators, and 108 foreign fugitives wanted by their governments for crimes including homicide, rape, terrorism and kidnapping. Also in fiscal year 2023, ERO conducted 142,580 removals to more than 170 countries worldwide.

As one of ICE’s three operational directorates, ERO is the principal federal law enforcement authority in charge of domestic immigration enforcement. ERO’s mission is to protect the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of U.S. communities and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws, and its primary areas of focus are interior enforcement operations, management of the agency’s detained and non-detained populations and the repatriation of noncitizens who have received final orders of removal. ERO’s workforce consists of more than 7,700 law enforcement and non-law enforcement support personnel across 25 domestic field offices and 208 locations nationwide, 30 overseas postings and multiple temporary duty travel assignments along the border.

Members of the public can report crime and suspicious activity by calling 866-347-2423 or completing the online tip form.

Learn more about ICE’s mission to increase public safety in your community on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @EROBoston.

Originally published at

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