The wife and daughters of the Ecuadorian Pablo Villavicencio, who on Tuesday, April 24 is facing a hearing in a federal court in New York about his deportation order, asked the judge to allow the pizza delivery boy arrested in a military base to return with his family.
Sandra Chica, an American citizen of Colombian origin, with whom Villavicencio has two daughters, asked the judge between tears to “touch her heart” and allow Villavicencio to return home with her girls Luciana, 4, and Antonia, 3 during a press conference at City Hall.
She demanded that the magistrate “take into account that he has not done anything wrong, that he allows her to raise his daughters, to see them grow up.” The president of the New York City Council, Corey Johnson, as well as activists and his lawyer Jennifer Williams joined the petition for freedom to the federal court in Manhattan, where on Tuesday the 35-year-old Ecuadorian audience will be held.
Villavicencio, who was arrested on June 1 and is in an Immigration prison in New Jersey, was asked to identify himself when he arrived at the military base in the Brooklyn district and showed the municipal card issued by the city of New York, which is not recognized by the federal authorities.
Villavicencio, who emigrated to the US In 2008, he requested asylum in 2010, which was denied, after which a voluntary deportation order was issued, which he did not comply with. Last February he applied for permanent residency because he was married to a US citizen, but was detained by Immigration.
A federal judge prevented him from being deported, following the efforts of his lawyers, but ordered that he remain in prison until the hearing was held. Chica, who reiterated “how hard” it has been to be a mother and father and have to give explanations to her children, also indicated that she sees her husband on Saturdays, only half an hour, although they talk on the phone two or three times a day.
He said he is hopeful, but that “he is afraid” of not seeing his daughters again, due to the policy, which he considers “cruel and inhumane” by the government to separate families.
Williams, a lawyer by trade, was hopeful that his client will be released by the judge, who will present arguments that the immigrant has worked to support his family, paid his taxes, has no criminal record and is not dangerous for the country or the community.
However, he pointed out that many things can happen at the hearing, such as the judge deciding to transfer the case to New Jersey, where he is being held in the custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office (ICE), but did not mention the possibility that validate the deportation order.
Meanwhile, the municipal council leader, who has been supporting Chica during this process, also asked the judge for his release and said that holding Villavicencio “does not make our country safer.” He stressed that the Ecuadorian complied with what federal authorities ask immigrants, when applying for permanent residence, last February. “It’s ridiculous,” he said, now they want to deport him. Luciana, the four-year-old Ecuadorian girl, also let her voice be heard, as she has done before, claiming she wants her father back. “I want my dad at home every day, I want him to be because when we visit he cries a lot,” said the girl. (I)