NYC pizza delivery man given emergency stay after immigration detention

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials took Villavicencio into custody after the 35-year-old illegal alien failed to produce a legal driver's license to enter a military base where he was trying to deliver pizza.

The Legal Aid Society was able to obtain the temporary stay for Villavicencio after a hearing in Manhattan court Saturday. ICE says Villavicencio was ordered by a judge to leave the country in 2010 but stayed.

Gregory Copeland, supervising attorney for Legal Aid's Immigration Law Unit called Villavicencio's stay "a victory for him and his family, and also for due process and the fair administration of justice".

"Pablo Villavicencio-Calderon is an illegally present citizen and national of Ecuador".

Villavicencio filed for his green card in February and was waiting for a response when he was detained, his wife, Sandra Chica, said.

In this undated family photo provided by Sandra Chica, Pablo Villavicencio poses with his two daughters, Luciana, left, and Antonia.

Elected officials joined Villavicencio's wife and two young daughters for the press conference outside Fort Hamilton on Wednesday, slamming the delivery man's detention.

His wife Sandra Chica, who is a US citizen, says Villavicencio now has an open green card application. The Army said he signed a waiver okaying a background check, and an active Immigration and Customs Enforcement warrant was discovered. Villavicencio's wife told The New York Times that the personnel at the base still accepted the food he had delivered. "We ask ICE to release him and let him come back to us".

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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 objective and the circumstances leading to his arrest and detention raise serious legal and policy concerns".

Democrat Andrew Cuomo requested the probe Friday in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general.

"New York will not sit on the sidelines as our immigrant communities are threatened", Cuomo wrote.

Cuomo said the detention of the pizza shop worker and a recent raid on an upstate dairy farm show "reckless contempt for the constitution".

"What prompted them to call ICE?" she asked.

Cuomo wrote a letter Saturday to Thomas Decker, field office director of the Department of Homeland Security and Customs Enforcement, explaining that Villavicencio has been a resident of NY for more than 10 years and is a working father, taxpayer and the primary provider for his wife and children, one of whom has a serious medical condition.

However, former government immigration lawyer Kerry Bretz said this was a "very high standard" to fulfill and Villavicencio's case may not be strong enough.

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