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ICE Detains Pizza Guy at NYC Army Base

Pablo Villavicencio, who's married to a US citizen and has no criminal record, is set to be deported
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2018 6:39 AM CDT
In this undated family photo provided by Sandra Chica, Pablo Villavicencio poses with his two young daughters, Luciana, left, and Antonia.   (Villavicencio Family Photo via AP)

(Newser) – Pizza deliveryman Pablo Villavicencio says he'd delivered food to Brooklyn's Fort Hamilton many times before. But last week, the 35-year-old undocumented Ecuadorean immigrant found himself detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the US Army base. Now he faces deportation, the New York Times reports. CBS News and a writer for the Forward note the arrest of Villavicencio, who's married to 38-year-old US citizen Sandra Chica and has two young daughters, first started making the rounds in Spanish-language media after Chica says her husband showed up at Fort Hamilton on Friday, food order in hand, and showed his IDNYC card, one often held by immigrants. Staff demanded other ID and then ran a background check, which revealed an open deportation order on Villavicencio from 2010.

In a call from immigration detention, Villavicencio tells the New York Post a staff sergeant he'd delivered to before tried to intervene on his behalf, but ICE was called and Villavicencio was taken away. An ICE rep tells the Times Villavicencio has no criminal record; Chica says her husband applied for a green card in February. "It's cruel that they're going to separate my daughters from him," she tells the Post. "He's supporting the family and now I'm going to be by myself with them." Rep. Dan Donovan says that "liberal activists are attacking ICE agents and military personnel for following the law in detaining an immigrant reportedly here illegally." But City Councilman Justin Brannan, who appeared at a Wednesday presser, per NPR, asked: "Are we any safer today because they took a pizza delivery guy off the street?" A GoFundMe for the family has so far raised more than $13,000. (Read more ICE stories.)

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