A federal judge has suspended an undocumented Ecuadorean man's deportation after he was detained and reported to immigration officials earlier this month while delivering pizza to a military base in New York City.
"Although we are disappointed that Pablo will remain detained, today's stay is a victory for him and his family, and also for due process and the fair administration of justice", Legal Aid Society lawyer Gregory Copeland said.
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".
Fellow Ecuadorian restaurant that delivered pizza to the army garrison in Brooklyn, was arrested on 1 June. He showed his New York City identification card to the guard as he had done several times before, but it wasn't enough this time, his wife says. This time, however, they rejected it. Obtaining a daily pass requires an on-site background check, and a soldier questioned Villavicencio insistently as he applied for the pass.
He ended up "signing a waiver permitting a background check", which revealed there was an active warrant for Villavicencio's deportation and prompted military police to call immigration agents, the base and Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.
Villavicencio, the father of two little girls who were born in the United States, came to the US a decade ago.
Villavicencio's wife, Sandra Chica, said her husband was a hard-working father and his treatment was "inhuman". "He is the center of our family and our main support". Now, I'm going to be by myself, along with two kids.
"I had one message for her: Anything we can do to help, we will do". As such, his voluntary departure order became a final order of removal and is an ICE fugitive.
The couple's two daughters, ages four and three, also are American citizens.
Chica and the two girls attended a news conference in front of the army base Wednesday along with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and City Councilman Justin Brannan.
"Does the Army now have some new policy that demands all non-military personnel show proof of citizenship to gain access onto the Army base?" "Otherwise, what happened here?"
The same day, the Legal Aid Society of NY filed a petition with ICE to halt the deportation, the Times wrote. He slammed the detainment as an "outrageous affront" to NY values.
A GoFundMe has been set up for the family.
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