QUEENS, N.Y. (WENY) – Governor Andrew Cuomo is offering free legal representation to a man who was detained in Fort Hamilton last week.
Pablo Villavicencio is an undocumented immigrant from Ecuador.
He was detained by military police officers and turned over to immigration agents after trying to deliver a pizza to the military base.
Villavicencio's wife, Sandra Chica, says the guard called ICE after her husband couldn't produce a driver's license when he tried to make the delivery.
She said her husband was a hard-working father and his treatment was “inhuman”.
Federal officials say Villavicencio had been ordered to leave the country by an immigration judge but failed to depart.
Now, Cuomo says that New York State is “ready to provide Mr. Villavicencio and his family with free legal representation and services through The Liberty Defense Project”.
The Liberty Defense Project is the nation's first state-led project to assist immigrants, regardless of status, in obtaining access to legal services.
In a statement, Cuomo said, “The detention of Pablo Villavicencio as he was delivering pizza at Fort Hamilton - under the gaze of Lady Liberty - goes against everything we believe in. Detaining a hardworking man, separating a father from his children and tearing apart communities doesn't make America safe, and a wrong minded immigration policy grounded in bias and cruelty doesn't make America great.”