Sunday, 26 May, 2019

Judge halts deportation of detained New York pizza delivery man

A pizza deliveryman was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers during a delivery to a Brooklyn Army base A pizza deliveryman was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers during a delivery to a Brooklyn Army base
Deanna Wagner | 11 June, 2018, 03:47

A pizza delivery man who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after bringing an order to a military base has been granted an emergency stay, The Legal Aid Society announced on Saturday.

Now, Pablo Villavicencio is in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody pending removal from the country, ICE spokeswoman Rachael Yong Yow said.

Judge Alison J. Nathan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY ordered Saturday evening for the government to show why a temporary preliminary injunction should not be granted in the case of Pablo Villavicencio Calderon, an Ecuadorean immigrant, according to Villavicencio's lawyers.

Villavicencio, an undocumented immigrant from Ecuador, was detained June 1 at the Fort Hamilton base in Brooklyn while delivering an order from the brick-oven pizza restaurant in Queens where he worked.

"I don't know if it's going to be good or not to tell them the truth".

Sandra Chica said she has no other family in NY.

"ICE may feel confident in its legal position, but our client's confidence in the judiciary, as well as the will of the American people, is stronger", said Jennifer Williams, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society, which is representing Villavicencio.

Cuomo had helped Villavicencio's family obtain free legal aid Friday in an effort to keep the deliveryman from being deported.

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Villavicencio, the father of two little girls who were born in the United States, came to the USA a decade ago.

"I don't know what he meant when he said he'd find a lawyer", one Make The Road leader told Gothamist on Friday.

Villavicencio ended up "signing a waiver permitting a background check", which revealed there was an active warrant for his deportation and prompted military police to call immigration agents.

Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, called it "absolutely disgusting".

"He was a tax-payer, contributor to our community entering this base, and now he went from being in this base - that's here to protect us - to prison", Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said.

Justin Brannan, a member of the New York City Council whose district includes the Army base, said on Wednesday that Villavicencio had delivered to the base several times before without any issues.

When he arrived at Fort Hamilton, guards requested identification and he produced a city identification card. She has set up a GoFundMe page for support for the couple's daughters.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said he spoke with Chica to express his "deep frustration with the federal government's assault on New York's immigrant families".