Elected officials in New York City are trying to stop the deportation of a pizza delivery man who was arrested while bringing food to an Army base in Brooklyn.
Pablo Villavicencio, an Ecuadorean immigrant, was delivering pizza to U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hamilton last Friday when he was detained and handed over to immigration authorities.
In a statement, the Fort Hamilton Public Affairs Office says security officers discovered an active ICE warrant during a routine background check. And that the installation's commanders are authorized to take "reasonably necessary and lawful measures [to] protect installation personnel and property."
At a news conference outside the base on Wednesday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called it "unimaginable" that Villavicencio went so quickly "from delivery to detention."
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UPDATE - 10:54 A.M. (EST)
The Governor issued the following statement:
"The detention of Pablo Villavicencio as he was delivering pizza at Fort Hamilton - under the gaze of Lady Liberty - goes against everything we believe in. 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.
"New York stands ready to provide Mr. Villavicencio and his family with free legal representation and services though the Liberty Defense Project, which is the nation's first state-led project to assist immigrants, regardless of status, in obtaining access to legal services. In the face of the federal government's assault on immigrants, we will protect our values and fight for the rights of all New Yorkers."
"I will fight this outrageous affront to Pablo Villavicencio and to all of us."
Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo