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ICE System Failed to Catch Illegal Immigrant in Va. Before Rape of 8-Year-Old Girl

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Loudoun County Jail

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer

Salvador Portillo-Saravia, a member of the MS-13 street gang, was charged with raping an 8-year-old girl at her Fairfax County (Va.) home last month. But he never should have been in Fairfax in the first place.

Federal officials deported Portillo-Saravia, of Sterling, to El Salvador in 2003, and he sneaked back in illegally. Now, officials are wondering why a much-touted federal program didn’t catch him before the rape.

Four weeks before the crime, Portillo-Saravia was in the Loudoun County jail for public intoxication. That’s when the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program, called Secure Communities, should have identified him as an illegal immigrant and he should have been taken into custody.

Loudoun authorities ran Portillo-Saravia’s fingerprints through a federal database, but despite the 2003 deportation, nothing was found. He was released after 12 hours behind bars.

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