MANHATTAN — A hearing was continued Tuesday for a deliveryman who was detained by immigration agents while bringing pizza to a Brooklyn Army base.
Pablo Villaviciencio faced a judge at the Federal Courthouse on Pearl Street in Manhattan Tuesday. Before the hearing, Legal Aid attorneys said anything could happen — his detention might continue, he could be deported, or, he could be immediately released.
Judge Paul Crotty decided to continue the hearing, saying he has two things to consider.
First, he'll need to decide if Villaviciencio should be released while he negotiates his legal status. Second, he'll have to determine if the case should be moved to New Jersey, where Villaviciencio is being held in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-contracted detention.
Villaviciencio was delivering pizza at an Army base in Fort Hamilton on June 1 when guards did a check on him and found a decade-old deportation order against him. He was detained immediately and has been held in a ICE detention center in New Jersey ever since.
The deliveryman came to the U.S. from Ecuador in 2008. His wife and two young daughters — Luciana, 4, and Antonia, 2 — are American citizens. His application for permanent residency has been pending.
"I recognize, as we should all, Pablo's case is also a worker's rights case. He was detained while delivering pizza at a military base," said a paralegal, with Legal Aid Society, the organization representing him.
Before the hearing Tuesday, supporters rallied outside of a federal courthouse.
"No borders. No nations. Stop deportations," dozens of supporters chanted while holding up signs reading "Abolish ICE" and "Free Pablo."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for an investigation into ICE’s handling of the Villavicencio case.