Pablo Villavicencio was delivering a pizza to Fort Hamilton military base in Brooklyn, NY last week when he was arrested by ICE.
When the 35-year-old immigrant from Ecuador arrived at the base, officials asked for his identification then performed an unauthorized background check that showed an active Immigration and Customs Enforcement warrant, says the New York Post.
“I am 100 percent sure that I did not sign any document there,” Villavicencio told the New York Post last week.
Since the father of two was detained, local restaurants have boycotted the army base in fear of workers being arrested unlawfully. “I won’t send my guys there anymore,” said Josefina Cardoso, owner of the El Puente restaurant in Bay Ridge. “I would feel guilty if something happened.”
Luckily for Villavicencio, who is married to an American citizen, his case has gained attention from New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who has agreed to represent Villavicencio for free.
“Detaining a hardworking man, separating a father from his children and tearing apart communities doesn’t make America safe,” Cuomo said. “A wrong-minded immigration policy grounded in bias and cruelty doesn’t make America great.”
For now, Villavicencio has been granted an emergency stay until July 20.