The deliveryman who was detained by ICE after attempting to deliver a pizza to Fort Hamilton Army Base in Bay Ridge earlier this month has been granted a last-minute reprieve.
According to officials, the Legal Aid Society won an emergency stay of the deportation of Pablo Villavicencio, the 35-year-old father of two who was detained and turned over to immigration officials on Friday, June 1 after making a routine delivery – which he’d done before with the help of his IDNYC card – to the base. This time, his IDNYC wasn’t enough.
Upon his entrance, the fort says Villavicencio signed a waiver permitting a full background check – something, reports claim the deliveryman says he never did – which flagged a warrant for his deportation (he failed to leave the country under court mandate by July, 2010).
Now, almost eight years later, the deliveryman has been granted stay through July 20 – a new deadline which gives his allies, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, at least another month to try and free him permanently. Until then, he will remain in ICE custody, but is allowed to pursue a “meritorious form of relief from removal” – adjustment of status for permanent residency – to be with his family.
Villavicencio’s record is clean, officials claim, aside from not returning to Ecuador in 2010. He subsequently married an American citizen, Sandra Chica, the mother of his two children. He is also a taxpayer.
Villavicencio is currently being held at a federal detention facility in New Jersey and was originally expected to be deported to Ecuador at the end of this week, his wife Sandra Chica had said.