NY Governor Asks for Federal Probe of Detained Pizza Man

11 June, 2018, 03:46 | Author: Carlos George
  • Pablo Villavicencio and his two daughters

"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 of the Immigration Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society, said in the statement.

Despite being in the dark about their father's predicament, Chica said the girls perked up on Sunday, a day after Manhattan federal Judge Alison Nathan blocked his deportation pending a July 20 hearing.

Villavicencio, an undocumented immigrant from Ecuador, was detained June 1 at the Fort Hamilton base in Brooklyn while delivering an order from the brick-oven pizza restaurant in Queens where he worked. "They're going to separate my daughters from him. I confirmed with her that New York State, working with our partners, has secured pro-bono legal counsel to represent Mr. Villavicencio".

Redmond Haskins, a spokesman for The Legal Aid Society, a not-for-profit organization that provides free services to clients who can not afford them, said Villavicencio has no criminal record.

Villavicencio family via Associated Press When Villavicencio arrived at Fort Hamilton, guards requested identification and he produced a city identification card.

"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.

Cuomo said Villavicencio is a taxpayer who has lived in NY for more than 10 years.

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

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"My daughters need me", he added. "Now, I'm alone with two kids".

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.

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

Villavicencio's potential deportation triggered a national response and fear in immigrant communities. "He should be immediately released from ICE custody and an investigation should be launched into the circumstances of his arrest".

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.

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.

Immigration agents have also started making arrests even in courts which previously held "sanctuary" status. Both politicians said they were seeking answers from Fort Hamilton. "I'm listening", Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) said. She has set up a GoFundMe page for support for the couple's daughters.

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