Man Detained While Delivering Pizza Is Finally Freed From ICE Detention

“I’m very happy to be free.”

Julio Cortez/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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.”

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate