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The Latest: Pizza worker released from immigration facility

July 25, 2018
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Pablo Villavicencio, center, is helped into an SUV, where his wife, Sandra Chica, right, and their daughters await after he was released from the Hudson County Correctional Facility, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, in Kearny, N.J. A judge on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of Villavicencio, an Ecuadorean immigrant who is being held at the facility for deportation after he delivered pizza to a Brooklyn Army installation. U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty said Villavicencio can remain in the United States while he exhausts his right to try to gain legal status. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the fate of an Ecuadorean immigrant detained after delivering pizza to a Brooklyn Army installation (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

An Ecuadorean immigrant who was being held for deportation after he delivered pizza to a Brooklyn Army installation has been released.

Pablo Villavicencio (vee-uh-vih-SEHN’-see-oh) walked out of an immigration detention facility in New Jersey shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday and was greeted with hugs from his wife and two young daughters.

A federal judge had ordered his immediate release hours earlier. The judge says he can remain in the U.S. while he exhausts his right to try to gain legal status.

Villavicencio was detained June 1 after a routine background check revealed he failed to obey a 2010 order to leave the country. He since married a U.S. citizen and applied to stay in the country.

Supporters of an Ecuadorian immigrant detained while delivering pizza to a Brooklyn Army installation gathered outside a NYC courthouse Tuesday as his lawyers argued for his freedom. A judge questioned the the need to deport Pablo Villavicencio. (July 24)

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7:35 p.m.

A lawyer representing an Ecuadorean immigrant held for deportation after delivering pizza to a New York Army installation says “the rule of law, humanity and morality” prevailed when a judge ordered him released.

Judge Paul Crotty on Tuesday said Pablo Villavicencio (vee-uh-vih-SEHN’-see-oh) must be immediately released from a New Jersey lockup and can remain in the United States while he exhausts his right to try to gain legal status.

The Legal Aid Society attorney Adriene Holder says the judge’s order is “releasing Pablo back to his family and community.” Holder says the decision “should serve as a rebuke against the Trump Administration and its merciless crusade to tear families apart.”

President Donald Trump says his crackdown on illegal immigration is designed to keep the country safe.

The government had argued for the case to be transferred to New Jersey.

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6:25 p.m.

A federal judge has ordered the release of an Ecuadorean immigrant who was held for deportation after he delivered pizza to a Brooklyn Army installation.

Judge Paul Crotty issued an order late Tuesday saying Pablo Villavicencio (vee-uh-vih-SEHN’-see-oh) must be immediately released. The man is being held at a New Jersey lockup.

The judge says the release is necessary because his imminent removal from the United States is no longer reasonably foreseeable.

The judge says Villavicencio can remain in the United States while he exhausts his right to complete an effort to gain legal status. Villavicencio applied to stay in the U.S. after he married a U.S. citizen. They have two young girls.

Crotty ruled after hearing arguments earlier Tuesday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Cordaro argued for the case to be transferred to New Jersey.

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12:30 p.m.

A federal judge wants to know if the U.S. government has “any concept of justice” in mind for an Ecuadorean immigrant detained while delivering pizza to a Brooklyn Army installation.

Judge Paul Crotty questioned the government’s handling of the case as he heard legal arguments Tuesday over what court should help decide the fate of Pablo Villavicencio (vee-uh-vih-SEHN’-see-oh).

He did not immediately rule whether the legal case to free Villavicencio should be heard in New Jersey or New York.

Villavicencio was detained June 1 after a routine background check revealed he failed to obey a 2010 order to leave the country. He since married an U.S. citizen and applied to stay in the country.

Supporters of an Ecuadorian immigrant detained while delivering pizza to a Brooklyn Army installation gathered outside a NYC courthouse Tuesday as his lawyers argued for his freedom. A judge questioned the the need to deport Pablo Villavicencio. (July 24)

Another judge already temporarily blocked his deportation. He has remained in ICE custody in New Jersey.

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11 a.m.

Lawyers for an Ecuadorean immigrant who was detained while delivering pizza to a Brooklyn Army installation will ask a federal judge to stop his deportation.

A hearing is scheduled Tuesday afternoon in the case of Pablo Villavicencio (vee-uh-vih-SEHN’-see-oh).

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement saying the federal government has “cruelly” kept Villavicencio from his wife and two young daughters “for no legitimate reason.”

Villavicencio was detained on June 1 after a routine background check revealed an arrest warrant for immigration law violations.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement says an immigration judge granted Villavicencio voluntary departure in March 2010 but he failed to leave as ordered.

The U.S. District Court judge already temporarily blocked his deportation but he has remained in ICE custody in New Jersey.

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10:15 a.m.

Lawyers for an Ecuadorean immigrant who was detained while delivering pizza to a Brooklyn Army installation will ask a federal judge to stop his deportation.

A hearing is scheduled Tuesday afternoon in the case of Pablo Villavicencio (vee-uh-vih-SEHN’-see-oh).

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement saying the federal government has “cruelly” kept Villavicencio from his wife and two young daughters “for no legitimate reason.”

Villavicencio was detained on June 1 after a routine background check revealed an arrest warrant for immigration law violations.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement says an immigration judge granted Villavicencio voluntary departure in March 2010 but he failed to leave as ordered.

The U.S. District Court judge already temporarily blocked his deportation but he has remained in ICE custody in New Jersey.

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