A man is facing deportation after being arrested while making a pizza delivery to the Fort Hamilton military base in Brooklyn on Friday.
Pablo Villavicencio, an Ecuadorian immigrant, showed his IDNYC, a free government-issued ID card that all New Yorkers can apply for regardless of immigration status, to gain access to the base. The guard asked for further identification, and when Villavicencio couldn’t provide any, someone at the base called ICE, according to New York City Councilman Justin Brannan.
“We’re still trying to figure out what happened,” said Brannan. “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.”
A statement from the Fort Hamilton base says Villavicencio agreed to a background check, which turned up an active Immigration and Customs Enforcement warrant. That warrant led to his detention.
Brannan said that according to Villavicencio’s wife Sandra Chica, he is currently being held in an ICE facility in New Jersey where he is awaiting deportation.
“We’ve got a family that’s being torn apart and they’re fighting to see if there’s any recourse,” he said.
At a press conference Wednesday, Chica, a U.S. citizen, said she and Villavicencio married five years ago and now have two daughters, ages 2 and 3. She said they began applying for a green card for Villavicencio in February, which is still pending.
“It’s cruel that they’re going to separate my daughters from him,” she said. “Now I’m going to be by myself, alone with two kids.”
According to a statement from the Fort Hamilton base, around 11 a.m. on June 1, Villavicencio tried to “make a delivery without valid Department of Defense identification.”
When he was instructed to go to the Visitor Control Center to get a daily pass, Villavicencio signed “a waiver permitting a background check, Department of the Army Access Control standard for all visitors, an active Immigration and Customs Enforcement warrant was discovered on file” and he was released into ICE custody.
“Commanders are authorized to take reasonably necessary and lawful measures to maintain law and order and protect installation personnel and property,” according to the statement.
Credit: USA Today, www.usatoday.com