Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) today expelled José Francisco Grijalva Monroy, 49, for his participation in acts of torture and human rights violations while serving in the Salvadoran army.
Grijalva Monroy was turned over to immigration authorities in El Salvador.
According to court documents, Grijalva Monroy testified that as a soldier in the Salvadoran army he tortured suspected guerrillas by hanging them from trees and beating them. He also admitted that he tied suspected guerrillas to the back of an army Jeep, dragging them until their skin was ripped off.
Grijalva Monroy's removal process took more than six years.
An immigration judge from the Executive Office for Immigration Review had ordered his deportation to El Salvador on February 28, 2011, but the former soldier appealed the decision. His appeal was dismissed by the Immigration Review Board on August 16, 2012.
It took another five years to effect the removal and transfer of Grijalva Monroy to El Salvador.
Grijalva Monroy was arrested in February of this year in Apalachicola, Florida, where he had lived and worked for 20 years.
An ICE spokeswoman declined to elaborate on what happened during the time between the rejection of Grijalva Monroy's appeal and his arrest.
ICE's Office of Chief Counsel in Orlando litigated Grijalva Monroy's case with the support of the Human Rights Law Section and ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center, which is dedicated to identifying, tracking, and prosecuting human rights abusers.
Since 2003, ICE has removed 785 individuals involved in human rights violations from the United States.
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the federal government can deport or deny admission to the United States to immigrants who have tortured or murdered people in the past.