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A Wednesday pizza drop off at an Army base in Bay Ridge, New York, resulted in the deportation of the delivery man.
The delivery driver, 35-year-old Pablo Villavicencio, was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on June 1 after delivering a pizza to the Fort Hamilton military base, according to Gothamist. According to his wife, Sandra Chica, he was asked for identification upon his arrival at approximately 11 a.m. He presented a state ID and was allowed onto the premises.
Later, Villavicencio was asked for further identification and proof of citizenship. When he failed to present either, staff at the base called ICE.
Base spokesperson Cathy SantoPietro said that Villavicencio was attempting to “make a delivery without valid Department of Defense Identification,” BuzzFeed News reported. After failing to present further identification, the man was directed to a center on the base where he could be issued a daily pass. There, he signed a standard waiver requiring a background check in order to be given the pass, and an active ICE warrant was found on file.
Friday’s delivery was not the first time Villavicencio dropped pizza off at the base. But Fort Hamilton representatives made no comment about what made this specific delivery unique from the others.
Bay Ridge Councilman Justin Brannan and Villavicencio’s family are here at Fort Hamilton. Councilman Brannan says Villavicencio used his New York State ID to enter the base, as he always had in the past, delivering pizza from Queens. “What was different this time?” Brannan asked. pic.twitter.com/yY3pHHlyIL— Cora Lewis (@cora) June 6, 2018
Villavicencio was detained on Friday and taken to an immigration center in Manhattan. Later, he was transferred to a base in New Jersey where he is still in the custody of ICE. Lawyers say that he is expected to be deported back to Ecuador and there is little that can be done to combat ICE’s deportation efforts.
Pablo Villavicencio has two daughters, Antonia and Luciana. They're three and four years old. pic.twitter.com/G0WqlxRBNl— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) June 6, 2018
Although undocumented, Villavicencio was awaiting processing of a pending green card application. His wife and two daughters, 2 and 3-years-old, are all American citizens. A GoFundMe campaign was launched Sunday in support of the family.
Onaje McDowelle is an editorial intern for the Daily Dot. He is studying journalism and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. His work has appeared in Austin Monthly magazine, GoodMusicAllDay, and Orange magazine.