Man Detained While Delivering Pizza Is Finally Freed From ICE Detention

“I’m very happy to be free.”

Julio Cortez/AP

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Nearly two months after he was detained while delivering a pizza order in Brooklyn, New York, Pablo Villavicencio Calderon has finally been reunited with his family. 

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of Villavicencio, whose arrest last month and subsequent attempt to deport him by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials sparked national outrage against the government’s crackdown on illegal immigration.  

Describing Villavicencio as a “model citizen,” Judge Paul Crotty on Tuesday granted the 35-year-old father of two a stay of deportation while he goes through the process of becoming a lawful permanent resident. “He has no criminal history,” Crotty wrote. “He has paid his taxes. And he has worked diligently to provide for his family.”

Villavicencio was arrested on June 1 while delivering a pizza order to an army base in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn. Upon arriving to hand off the order, a military police officer demanded Villavicencio show a driver’s license for identification. When he was unable to provide one, the guard contacted ICE officials, who placed Villavicencio at a detention center in New Jersey.

News of the arrest prompted some local restaurants to boycott deliveries to the army base.

“I’m very happy to be free,” Villavicencio told Telemundo in Spanish. “I’m happy to be reunited with my wife and children.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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