Heartening: A community stands with neighbor detained by ICE 7


Pablo Villavicencio is married to an American citizen and has two young daughters. He has a pending green card application, no criminal history, and is a tax-paying member of his community in New York.

He was delivering pizzas to an Army base, as he had done many times before. Instead of getting a tip and leaving, the guard on duty reported him to ICE, who took him into custody.

El Diario NY, the local Spanish-language paper, reported on the arrest.

The New York Post picked up the story. So did the New York Times.

NY Councilman Justin Brennan—who serves the district where Pablo lives—spoke up for his family. All week, he has been tweeting and making public appearances questioning the policy of arresting non-violent, law-abiding residents.

Three hours later, New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio, spoke up for this family.

The same day, New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, is spoke up in his defense and offered legal assistance to Pablo and his family.

In addition to excellent press coverage and support of elected officials, neighbors came out to support Pablo and his family, demanding his release from ICE detention.

With contributions in solidarity from all over the world, the Go Fund Me campaign created for Pablo and his family has already exceeded its $20,000 goal.

Then this happened…

On Saturday afternoon, the Legal Aid Society (NYC) won an emergency petition to stay Pablo’s deportation.

The work isn’t yet over, but New York is a shining example of how people—from everyday people to governors, from journalists to non-profit lawyers—can stand with our neighbors.

The headlines may be bad, but the American people are better.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

7 thoughts on “Heartening: A community stands with neighbor detained by ICE

  • tilly

    Yay! Love reading this timeline. I had heard snipits of it, but not the whole story. Thank you for spreading the good news of community. I will consider donating to LegalAid too! Thank you.

  • Aida Gray

    What’s really disheartening is that in the ARMY, one of the most diverse employers (who by the way has many non-citizens serving in it), a single member of its ranks took it upon himself to speak for the entire Army.
    I was told, when I was an active duty Marine, that being “apolitical” was a Core component of our duty. As we represent and protect people who don’t always agree with our personal views. It’s a real shame that the Army has now been painted with the brush of racism due to one members’ actions. Shame on him.
    I hope Pablo Villavicencio gets his proper day in court -as a spouse of a citizen, with American children, and no criminal record, it really seems like a no-brainer that he should stay in this country.

  • Pamela Altman

    Thank you for giving us American citizens hope. I am glad to see there are people who still believe this country can be a place where we can come together to help one another.

  • James Alley

    This is GOOD NEWS INDEED at a time when I fear for the America symbolized by our Statue of Liberty and its motto. I applaud all the brave people who stood up for this man, and took a stand for what our country is all about.