Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Judge temporarily blocks deportation of New York pizza worker

Judge temporarily blocks deportation of New York pizza worker

A U.S. federal judge has temporarily blocked the deportation of an Ecuadoran pizza delivery man who was arrested at a military base, reports said Sunday, in a case that has sparked outrage among pro-immigration groups.

The temporary emergency stay was awarded to Pablo Villavicencio, 35, on Saturday with the help of attorneys with the Legal Aid Society, a law firm that aids low-income families and individuals.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, in a letter issued Saturday afternoon in support of Villavicencio's stay of removal, asked the Department of Homeland Security to release Villavicencio "from the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement ('ICE')".

The reprieve means Villavicencio, who is married to a USA citizen and has two young children, will remain at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in the US until his case is adjudicated.

A pizza deliveryman was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers during a delivery to a Brooklyn Army base. They actually know me and the sergeant knows me for some time doing delivery, ' he said.

Though Villavicencio was supposed to have left the United States, he stayed to work, making him eligible to be deported.

He would have to get a waiver as people who have spent more than a year in the US illegally can't re-enter for a decade. He got married to Sandra Chica, a US citizen, eight years ago and had filed an application for citizenship.

Villavicencio's wife, Sandra Chica, said he went to deliver pizza to Fort Hamilton last week and was asked for identification by the guard who received him. "They're going to separate my daughters from him".

UPDATE: Reached for comment, Richard Azzopardi, a spokesperson for Governor Cuomo's office, tells Gothamist, "We are in contact with Pablo's family and have offered legal and other supportive services free of charge".

The Ecuadorian native ignored a court order to voluntarily leave the country in 2010 and instead married Chica, an American citizen, and settled down in Hempstead, LI.

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

The day he was detained, Villavicencio was trying to deliver an order to the Fort Hamilton Army base in Brooklyn.

An Army spokeswoman told The New York Times that if visitors don't have a military identification card, they have to get a pass that requires a background check. "I'm listening", Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) said. "Is this part of some new Donald Trump deportation strategy?"

'They've got two little kids, so she'd have to struggle as a single mom, ' he told the New York Post.

Like this: