Judge Halts Deportation of Pizza Delivery Man-For Now

Clay Curtis
June 12, 2018

An undocumented father of two who was arrested while delivering pizza to a New York City Army base has been granted an emergency stay of deportation.

Villavicencio, who is married and has two daughters who are USA citizens, agreed in 2010 to voluntarily depart the country after an immigration judge ordered him to depart the U.S.

Chica said she's been trying to convince the girls - Luciana, 3, and Antonia, 2 - that their father, illegal immigrant Pablo Villavicencio, is "out working".

In a letter to the ICE office in NY, the Democrat said Villavicencio's "expedited removal serves no legitimate public safety objective and the circumstances leading to his arrest and detention raise serious legal and policy concerns".

A pizza deliveryman was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers during a delivery to a Brooklyn Army base.

Villavicencio showed a New York City identification card, also known as IDNYC, as he had done during previous deliveries.

"As a mom, I just want to protect them, that they don't suffer", she said.

But "there was a different security guard", Villavicencio said, and an official began to question him - first asking for a driver's license, then a Social Security card, then calling police to ask about his background and discovering the old ICE warrant.

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State Sen. Martin J. Golden commended the authorities who took Villavicencio into custody. He got married to Sandra Chica, a USA citizen, eight years ago and had filed an application for citizenship.

"Please ICE, do the right thing with my husband", his wife Sandra Chica said earlier this week. "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". "Now, I'm alone with two kids". He was labeled a fugitive in 2010, when he did not leave the country after being granted voluntary departure. As a result, his voluntary departure order became a final order of removal, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

USA media report that his wife is a U.S. citizen and he has now filed an application for residency.

"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?" "I'm listening", New York City Councilman Justin Brannan said. "Otherwise, what happened here?"

Instead, he got married and started a family in NY - where local laws somewhat shield undocumented immigrants from federal authorities, even as President Donald Trump's administration detains thousands of people it accuses of entering the United States illegally.

"Sandra spoke to me as a mother of their two daughters - anxious for her husband and her children", he said in a statement.

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