Governor Cuomo offers free legal help to pizza deliveryman facing deportation
ABC News(ALBANY, N.Y.) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is offering free legal help to a pizza delivery man who was detained by immigration authorities when he tried to deliver an order to a military base in Brooklyn.
Cuomo is offering to pay for Pablo Villavicencio’s legal fees through the Legal Defense Project.
“Detaining a hardworking man, separating a father from his children and tearing apart communities doesn’t make America safe, and a wrong minded immigration policy grounded in bias and cruelty doesn’t make America great,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement.
Villavicencio was detained by ICE officials on June 1 when he tried to deliver a pizza to the Fort Hamilton military base in Brooklyn.
When Villavicencio arrived on the base he was directed to the Visitor Control Center to get a daily pass, according to a statement sent to ABC News by the Fort Hamilton base.
He signed a waiver permitting a background check, and officials were notified that an active ICE warrant was on his file, the statement said.
“The arrest of Pablo with a municipal ID is sending shockwaves throughout the immigrant community,” Brooklyn Borough president Eric Adams told reporters at a press conference Wednesday. “It was alright to take his pizza but it was also alright to put him in prison.”
ICE released a statement saying Villavicencio was granted voluntary departure by an immigration judge in 2010 but failed to depart the country by the July date that was ordered.
His voluntary order became a final order of removal and became an ICE fugitive, according to the statement. He is in ICE custody pending removal.
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