A pizza delivery man who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after bringing an order to a military base has been granted an emergency stay, The Legal Aid Society announced on Saturday.
Pablo Villavicencio was arrested last week after delivering the pizza to Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn.
His wife, Sandra Chica, told NBC New York on Saturday that she was told Villavicencio could have been deported as quickly as Monday.
A federal judge, however, granted him an emergency stay until July 20, when the case will be heard in court.
“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,” Gregory Copeland, the supervising attorney of the Immigration Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society, said in a statement to NBC New York.
Chica told El Diario that a solider called ICE when Villavicencio delivered a pizza order to the base — something that he has done before.
"But this time, the guard — whom he identified as African American — asked him for a valid identification document, and since he didn’t have one, the soldier called immigration to arrest him,” Chica told El Diario.
Chica is an American citizen and married Villavicencio — who is from Ecuador — five years ago.
The couple began the application process in February for Villavicencio to receive residency status.
NBC New York reported that the couple have two daughters.
“They’re asking me where he is, why he is not coming home at night, that they miss him, that they want to play with him,” Chica told the network. "Their daddy was taken because of the law of this country, because they didn’t give him the chance to continue his legal process here.”