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Woman faces immigration charges after 20-year visa overstay

OAKFIELD, Maine — A Colombian woman living in Oakfield was arrested Friday, July 26, on immigration charges.

The woman, whose name and age were not released, entered the United States in 1999 with a tourist visa, according to a press release from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Agents were tipped off to the woman’s illegal status in the United States by a concerned citizen who called the department.

Border Patrol agents located the woman in Oakfield and upon interviewing her, discovered she was a citizen of Colombia. The Colombian national was unable to produce valid immigration documents allowing her to be or remain in the United States and was transported to the Houlton Border Patrol Station for processing.

“The Border Patrol in Maine enjoys a great deal of support and assistance from the public,” said Jason D. Owens, chief patrol agent of the Border Patrol in Maine. “In this particular case, someone within the community called after recognizing suspicious behavior and circumstances.”

Agents began the removal proceedings and the woman was transferred to the custody of Immigration Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations. The events and circumstances leading to the woman’s arrival in Oakfield remain under investigation.

“We are seeing an increase in apprehensions when compared to this point last year.  That increase is, in part, is due to the support we are receiving from the public,” Owens said.

The Border Patrol in Maine relies on the cooperation and assistance of the public, he added.   Anyone wishing to make a confidential report of suspicious activity may call (800) 851-8727 to contact the United States Border Patrol in Maine.

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