In a stunning ruling Saturday, Manhattan Federal Court judge Alison Nathan accepted an emergency petition by Ecuadorean national Pablo Villavicencio’s attorneys to stay his deportation until at least July 20.
The Ecuadorean national fell into ICE’s custody after he tried to deliver a pizza to a Brooklyn Army base. Upon checking Villavicencio’s identification on June 1, soldiers at Fort Hamilton discovered he’s an illegal immigrant, i.e., someone with no legal authority to be in the United States, let alone work here.
Villavicencio was subsequently detained and transferred into the custody of ICE. He’s since been up for deportation, a fact that’s not sat well with liberal activists.
His attorneys expressed satisfaction with the stay afterward, though they complained about the judge’s refusal to order that their client also be released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
“Although we are disappointed that Pablo will remain detained, today’s stay is a victory for him and his family, and also for due process and the fair administration of justice,” Villavicencio’s attorneys with The Legal Aid Society said in a statement.
— The Legal Aid Society (@LegalAidNYC) June 9, 2018
Villavicencio will now reportedly be allowed to argue to the court why he should be allowed to remain in the United States.
“The court agreed with our argument that Pablo should be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present his case in federal court,” his attorneys explained. “This decision is also a reminder that the judiciary can still serve as a powerful check when other branches of government make hasty, cruel and reckless decisions.”
But some question why any illegal immigrant should be afforded protection from deportations. They argue that this only incentivizes further illegal immigration and makes a mockery of America’s federal laws.
It should also be kept in mind that Villavicencio’s home country, Ecuador, is among the safest in Latin America.
Judge temporarily halts imminent deportation of #PabloVillavicencio, who was turned over to ICE after delivering a pizza to a military base. The dad of two has no criminal record. https://t.co/jpbsPyE7pH #FreePablo pic.twitter.com/YOjU5SCUIL
— Gabe #DreamActNow Ortíz (@TUSK81) June 10, 2018
The frightening problem with this case is that soldiers were immediately demonized for actually following a common United States law.
Some local restaurant workers have jumped on the bandwagon by refusing to deliver any food to the base.
“Some people tell their bosses, ‘I’m not going,'” local cook and delivery man Emanuel Kabrinny said to the New York Post. “I’m not going either. If they want food, let them come here [to pick it up].”
“We’re kind of afraid to send someone to the Army base this morning, and what’s the first call? From the Army base,” Chris Moustakas, the manager of a local bagel shop, added.
Moustakas would have nothing to fear if he simply stopped hiring illegal immigrants …
Check out the tweets below which show activists demanding that Fort Hamilton be boycotted by neighboring restaurants or outright shut down:
So what kind of POS calls ICE on the Pizza delivery guy? Anyone else hear about this Fort Hamilton guard? Should boycott them, No NYC drivers license ,no deliveries ,no service .
— Captain Random (@GameKRZY) June 8, 2018
'we have received several calls…with request to…remove the Fort Hamilton Army Base from their delivery zones.' https://t.co/gN7ShhxVTw
— bdunbar (@bdunbar) June 10, 2018
All companies that deliver to military bases, things like pizza, should boycott and refuse to serve @USArmy for what they did at Fort Hamilton. Deporting a pizza delivery guy married to a US Citizen with 2 kids? Shame @USArmy
— Dr. Walter PhD ??? (@GrumpiGramp) June 8, 2018
One small step but a logical consequence. What shameful service members to do this. Boycott Fort Hamilton Army Base. Don't deliver to them and don't serve them. @NYCMayor @NYCMayor #AbolishICE #ImmigrationReform @BklynDefender @JustinBrannan
— Kim (@kimfunk) June 7, 2018
SHUT DOWN FORT HAMILTON. Name and shame the soldier.
— @nyc_oz (@nyc_oz) June 10, 2018
Shut down Fort Hamilton!
— @nyc_oz (@nyc_oz) June 9, 2018
At this point is remains unclear whether he will actually be deported. He reportedly began the application process for residency a couple of months earlier. What’s known is that his stay remains active until July 20, giving him roughly 1.5 months to either obtain his residency or successfully convince the judge presiding over his case that he deserves to stay permanently.