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Man detained after NYC pizza delivery granted emergency stay

11 June 2018

A Hempstead pizza deliveryman, who faced deportation late Friday, was granted an emergency stay Saturday by a federal judge in Manhattan.

He will remain in ICE custody, but the stay affords him the chance to argue his case.

"Although we are disappointed that Pablo will remained 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, supervising attorney for Legal Aid's Immigration Law Unit, said.

On June 1, 35-year-old Villavicencio arrived at the Fort Hamilton base in Brooklyn to deliver an order from the brick-oven pizza restaurant in Queens where he worked. "As a father of three daughters, I can't imagine the fear she and Pablo are feeling right now". "I confirmed with her that New York State, working with our partners, has secured pro-bono legal counsel to represent Mr. Villavicencio", he added in a separate tweet.

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said the military police officers at the base then detained Villavicencio and turned him over to federal immigration officials.

A statement issued by Fort Hamilton last Friday said Villavicencio attempted to make a delivery about 11 a.m. but lacked identification required to enter. But the man said, 'I don't care.' He said I need to keep waiting and he called ICE'. While the governor has promised free legal representation to Villavicencio, representatives from both the Legal Aid Society and Make The Road NY say that support has not yet materialized. They actually know me and the sergeant knows me for some time doing delivery, ' he said.

He would have to get a waiver as people who have spent more than a year in the USA illegally can't re-enter for a decade. "Now, I'm alone with two kids".

According to an ICE spokesperson, the pizza delivery man was ordered by a judge to leave the country in 2010, and has been a "ICE fugitive" ever since.

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

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.

He said he showed his New York State identification card at the security gate and was allowed inside.

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

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In a letter to the ICE office in New York, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Villavicencio's "expedited removal serves no legitimate public safety goal and the circumstances leading to his arrest and detention raise serious legal and policy concerns".

Man detained after NYC pizza delivery granted emergency stay