An illegal immigrant is facing deportation after being arrested last week while delivering pizza to a military post new New York.
Pablo Villavicencio, originally from Ecuador, was arrested Friday while delivering pizza to Fort Hamilton garrison in south Brooklyn.
“I have been there before and always go in and never have had any problems, they actually know me and the sergeant knows me for some time doing delivery,” Villavicencio told the New York Post.
“Last Friday there was a different security guard and he told me I needed to go get another pass to enter,” he said. “And I proceeded to do that. A tall man with dark skin started to ask me many questions, he asked me about why I didn’t have any Social Security card.
“He called the NYPD and the NYPD told him I didn’t have any record, that I was clean. But the man said, ‘I don’t care.’ He said I need to keep waiting and he called ICE.”
Villavicencio said the sergeant who knows him was not happy the other man on duty escalated the situation.
“The sergeant was telling the man … he had no business calling ICE, he just has to verify I had no problems and let [me] through,” Villavicencio said.
A Fort Hamilton spokesperson said Villavicencio “attempted to gain access to Fort Hamilton to make a delivery without valid Department of Defense identification.”
“The person was directed to the Visitor Control Center to obtain a daily pass. Upon signing a waiver permitting a background check, Department of the Army Access Control standard for all visitors, an active Immigration and Customs Enforcement warrant was discovered on file. This prompted the Department of Emergency Services personnel to contact the proper authorities, and transport the individual to DES for further processing, and released to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” the spokesperson said.
An ICE spokeswoman told the Post that a judge had ordered Villavicencio deported in 2010.
Villavicencio’s wife, Sandra Chica, is an American citizen. Together, they have two young daughters.
Villavicencio applied for a green card in February.
His wife called the attempts to deport her husband “cruel.”
“It’s cruel that they’re going to separate my daughters from him. He’s supporting the family and now I’m going to be by myself with them,” said Chica.
Today @BPEricAdams and I stood with Sandra and her two daughters. Her husband and their dad Pablo is facing deportation because he delivered a pizza to an army base. Tell me how this is American. Tell me how taking Pablo off the street makes our nation safer. I'm listening. pic.twitter.com/L2xqv940tg
— Justin Brannan (@JustinBrannan) June 6, 2018
New York City Councilman Justin Brannan lashed out at immigration authorities for Villavicencio’s arrest.
“Tell me how this is American,” Brannan tweeted. “Tell me how taking Pablo off the street makes our nation safer. I’m listening.”
The New York Immigration Commission also issued a statement, saying it is “absolutely disgusting when the strongest military in the world punches down by going after pizza delivery men.”
“Immigrant New Yorkers like Pablo Villavicencio provide for their families by working hard and making sacrifices, they shouldn’t be ripped from their communities and their crying children for pursuing the ever-dimmer American dream,” Steven Choi, executive director of the coalition, said in a statement.
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