INTERNATIONAL.- A federal judge on Saturday temporarily blocked the deportation of a New York pizza shop worker to his native Ecuador after he was arrested while making a delivery to a Brooklyn Army base. Attorneys for The Legal Aid Society obtained the temporary stay for Pablo Villavicencio after a hearing in Manhattan federal court.
The 35-year-old married father of two young girls was arrested on June 1 while making a delivery to the garrison in Fort Hamilton. A routine background check revealed there was a warrant for his arrest for immigration law violations.
Federal Judge Alison Nathan granted the stay until July 20. Villavicencio will remain in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody in New Jersey until his case goes to court. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had asked federal homeland security officials to look into the case, saying recent detentions raise significant legal questions.
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In a letter to the ICE office in New York, the Democrat said Villavicencio’s “expedited removal serves no legitimate public safety purpose and the circumstances leading to his arrest and detention raise serious legal and policy concerns.” Villavicencio’s wife, Sandra Chica, is an American citizen and their daughters, ages 2 and 3, were born in the U.S.
When he arrived at Fort Hamilton, guards requested identification and he produced a city identification card. A background check showed that Villavicencio had been ordered to leave the United States in 2010, but stayed.
Redmond Haskins, a spokesman for The Legal Aid Society, a not for-profit organization that provides free services to clients who cannot afford them, said Villavicencio has no criminal record.