Immigrant detained during pizza delivery is home with family


HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — An Ecuadorean immigrant who was held for deportation after delivering pizza to a Brooklyn Army installation is at home on Long Island after an emotional reunion with his family.

Sandra Chica told Newsday today there were tears and kisses when her husband, Pablo Villavicencio, walked through their door late Tuesday.

Villavicencio was arrested June 1 while making a delivery to the garrison in Fort Hamilton. When he arrived, guards requested identification, and he produced a city identification card. A background check showed he had been ordered to leave the United States in 2010 but stayed.

U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty said Tuesday that Villavicencio, who was being held at a New Jersey lockup, can remain in the United States while he exhausts his right to try to gain legal status.

"Although he stayed in the United States unlawfully and is currently subject to a final order of removal, he has otherwise been a model citizen," the judge wrote.

Villavicencio applied to stay in the U.S. after he married a U.S. citizen, with whom he has two young girls.

The judge cited those children and said they are U.S. citizens.

"He has no criminal history," the judge wrote. "He has paid his taxes. And he has worked diligently to provide for his family."

The U.S. government, which had wanted the case moved from New York to New Jersey, did not immediately comment on the judge's action.

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