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Judge: “Is there any sense of justice here” for a man who is otherwise “a model citizen?”

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ICYMI: Judge Orders the Release of a Pizza Delivery Man Detained by ICE

After nearly two months in detention, U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty ordered the release of Pablo Villavicencio-Calderon, an undocumented husband and father of two who was detained while trying to deliver pizza to an army base in Brooklyn. The judge noted, “Well, the powerful are doing what they want, and the poor are suffering what they must,” as reported by Spectrum News.

Mr. Villavicencio-Calderon is currently in the process of obtaining permanent residency. He has no criminal record, pays his taxes, and is a “model citizen” according to Judge Crotty. Despite all of this, Mr. Villavicencio-Calderon was still forcibly taken from his wife and two daughters. The family received an outpouring of community and political support, spearheaded by Make the Road NY.

After his ruling, Judge Crotty asked, “I mean, is there any concept of justice here or are we just doing this because we want to?…Why do we want to enforce the order? It makes no difference in terms of the larger issues facing the country.”

Read more about the case and Judge Crotty’s decision in the Brooklyn Paper, excerpted below and available in full here.

A judge stayed the deportation of undocumented immigrant Pablo Villavicencio-Calderon and demanded he be immediately released from detention on July 24, nearly two months after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detained the pizza deliveryman at Fort Hamilton Army Base on June 1.

U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty wrote that even though Pablo Villavicencio-Calderon was in the country illegally, he had always abided by the law and consequently deserved to be reunited with his family.

“Although he stayed in the United States unlawfully and is currently subject to a final order of removal, he has otherwise been a model citizen,” Crotty worte. “He has no criminal history. He has paid his taxes. And he has worked diligently to provide for his family.”

Crotty also noted that Villavicencio-Calderon’s freedom will allow him the chance to resume the paperwork process he began in February to regularize his immigration status. And the decision stipulates that the only way Villavicencio-Calderon can be deported in the future is if the Citizenship and Immigration Services agency denies any of his three applications, or if Villavicencio-Calderon commits a crime after his papers were approved.

Democratic pols reacted to the news with delight. Gov. Cuomo called Villavicencio-Calderon’s release “a victory for New Yorkers and for basic human rights,” but said that the deliveryman should have never been detained in the first place.