Federal Judge Alison J. Nathan of the U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York has put a stop to the deportation of Ecuadorian immigrant Pablo Villavicencio Calderon. Villavicencio issued a standard pizza delivery from a restaurant in Queens to an Army base in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn. Military police took Villavicencio into custody upon his arrival. Base officers passed Villavicencio on to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
An extensive background check revealed that Villavicencio, age 35, is a native of Ecuador and had an open order of removal set in place since 2010. Upon this discovering, agents immediately transferred Villavicencio to the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny New Jersey. Since the incident, Villavicencio’s lawyers have been pursuing a claim of racial profiling. The claim argues that the Army base officers unlawfully detained Mr. Villavicencio and subsequently violated his constitutional rights.
The Legal Aid Society is a non-profit public service law firm for low-income families and is leading Villavicencio’s case. Gregory Copeland, a lawyer involved in the case, issued the following statement:
“Although we are disappointed that Pablo will remain detained, today’s stay is a victory for him and his family, and also for due process and the fair administration of justice”
Villavicencio is a husband to Sandra Chica and a father of 2 daughters. Chica stated that she is a US citizen and that Villavicencio applied for a green card back in February. Judge Nathan has ordered a government requirement to keep Villavicencio within the New York City area throughout the legal trial.
New York City Council member, Justin Brannan, reported that this isn’t the first time that Villavicencio made deliveries to the Army base. Brannan responded to the case with questions. “Why was this time any different from any other times Pablo came to deliver food to the Army base? Why was Pablo singled out?”
New York governor and Democrat Andrew Cuomo issued the following statement via Twitter about the situation:
“There’s compelling evidence that Pablo Villavicencio was improperly detained. He should be immediately released from ICE custody and an investigation should be launched into the circumstances of his arrest”.
The policy agenda for immigration is brought to the forefront with this case.
Trump tweeted back in April that, “Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release”.
The Villavicencio case adds a new flavor to the stirring pot of immigration debate within America.
Featured Image via Flickr/sqrpix