NY Governor Asks for Federal Probe of Detained Pizza Man

Monday, 11 Jun, 2018

A USA 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.

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.

"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", Gregory Copeland, the supervising attorney of the Immigration Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society, said in a statement to NBC New York. "As a father of three daughters, I can't imagine the fear she and Pablo are feeling right now".

According to Nathan's faculty page on New York University Law School's website, she worked as an Associate National Counsel for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign and then served a "voter protection coordinator" and adviser for the Obama campaign when he ran for office in 2008.

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

Chica told El Diario that a solider called ICE when Villavicencio delivered a pizza order to the base - something that he has done before.

Details about the suit were first reported by the New York Times.

"The older one, she always asks me why daddy's in the news, and I say, 'Oh, it's because he's doing a good job, '" she said. Another person close to the case, who asked not to be identified, added, "I have no idea what the governor is talking about". Now, I'm going to be by myself, along with two kids. He came to the US illegally from Ecuador in 2008. This time, however, they rejected it.

Chica is an American citizen and married Villavicencio - who is from Ecuador - five years ago.

U.S. media report that his wife is a USA citizen and he has now filed an application for residency. "He should be immediately released from ICE custody and an investigation should be launched into the circumstances of his arrest". "I'm listening", New York City Councilman Justin Brannan said.

Villavicencio's case has caught the attention of New York City activists, including the New York Immigration Coalition and Make the Road New York, a political group advocating on immigration issues. As a result, his voluntary departure order became a final order of removal, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

When he arrived at Fort Hamilton, guards requested identification and he produced a city identification card.

A GoFundMe page to cover his legal expenses and help his wife and children has so far raised $28,000 in four days.