A pizza delivery man was arrested by ICE on Friday when he made a delivery to the Fort Hamilton military base in Brooklyn.
Pablo Villavicencio showed his IDNYC card to gain entry to the base, as he has done in the past when making deliveries.
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This time, he was asked for additional identification by the guard. When he couldn’t produce any, the guard summoned someone to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), USA Today reported.
A background check revealed that Villavicencio has an active ICE warrant, which led to his arrest.
The Ecuadorian immigrant now faces deportation.
New York City Councilman Justin Brannan said: “We’re still trying to figure out what happened. Pablo has personally delivered to the Army base in the past without incident. He used his NYC ID, his municipal ID, to gain access to the base in the past, that’s what he did this time.”
City officials are asking that the father of two, who is married to a U.S. citizen, be released to his wife and their daughters, 3-year-old Luciana 2-year-old Antonia.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said: “The American dream is shattered when (Villavicencio) went from delivery to detention. That is unimaginable. … We want this gentleman home. We want Pablo back with his family.”
Villavicencio’s wife, Sandra Chica, said that her husband is being held in a New Jersey detention facility and facing deportation next week.
Villavicencio’s marriage to Chica made him eligible for a green card and permanent U.S. residency, which he had filed for.
“In one day, your life changes. It’s cruel that they separated my daughters from him. He was supporting the family. Now I’m going to be alone with these two babies,” Chica said.
Villavicencio wept as he pleaded by phone and said he is a taxpayer who has delivered pizzas to the Brooklyn base before, without issues.
“They treated me like a criminal, and I haven’t committed a crime. My daughters need me, and my wife needs me … It’s a horrible thing,” Villavicencio said.