Meet Pablo Villavicencio, a pizza delivery man and illegal immigrant who was arrested by ICE agents yesterday after he delivered a pizza to the Fort Hamilton Army base in Brooklyn, NY:
An early look at Thursday's front… pic.twitter.com/sa2bFxaitH
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) June 7, 2018
In summary, Villavicencio showed up at the base and didn’t have a Department of Defense ID. He was directed to go get a “day pass” at a security desk when a background check, which he consented to, turned up an active ICE warrant as he had agreed to self-deport in 2010 and didn’t do it:
From the New York Daily News:
A statement from officials at Fort Hamilton said Villavicencio lacked a valid Department of Defense identification, and was sent to get a day pass.
An active ICE warrant was discovered after Villavicencio signed a waiver OK-ing a background check before he could drop off the pies, the statement read.
ICE spokeswoman Rachael Yong Yow said Villavicencio is “illegally present” in the country and agreed to voluntarily leave in 2010, but did not, and so became an “ICE fugitive.”
Justin Brannan, a councilman who represents the district, was quick to blame President Trump for the immigration system that deported Villavicencio under then President Obama:
Our immigration system is dilapidated but instead of fixing it, Trump is focused on deporting women, children, and asylum seekers with no criminal record. We are sending people back to countries where their lives are at risk and tearing families apart. This is not American ??
— Justin Brannan (@JustinBrannan) June 6, 2018
And New York Governor Andrew Cuomo added that separating fathers from children isn’t making America safe”:
Detaining pizza delivery men and separating fathers from children isn’t making America safe.
An immigration policy grounded in bias and cruelty isn’t making America great. https://t.co/ayqyA1IeVW
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 6, 2018
According to Councilman Brannan, Villavicencio used his New York City-issued ID card, but for whatever reason, the guards did not accept it this time and he was directed to get the day pass which set the arrest in motion. From BuzzFeed:
New York City Council Member Justin Brannan, who represents the area, said Wednesday that Villavicencio had provided his ID NYC, which is available to New Yorkers regardless of immigration status, to enter the base, as he had on previous occasions — but was asked for further identification after he was on the premises.
An “IDNYC,” however, is not a real ID in any sense of the word and is basically used to access city services like libraries and zoos although it is considered acceptable by the NYPD:
Uses of an IDNYC card
Not only can an IDNYC card get you into city buildings, such as schools and offices, it can also help you gain access to city services and programs.
Additionally, you can use the card to open an account with the New York Public Library. If you already have a library account, you can ask your librarian to sync it with your IDNYC card.
If you are stopped by police, the IDNYC card is considered an acceptable form of proof of identification.
Some banks will even allow you to use an IDNYC card to open an account.
What IDNYC cannot be used for
While the card may seem similar to a driver’s license, it does not permit the cardholder to drive. It also can’t be used as proof of identity to get a driver’s license and it won’t grant immigration status or provide authorization to work.
The card also cannot be used for air travel or to buy alcohol or tobacco products.
The program faced criticism at its outset as immigration activists felt it was creating a database of names that could be accessed by the federal government if, say, a Republican became president who made a campaign issue out of ending sanctuary cities (One reason the NYPD accepted the ID was because of the data collection):
In 2014, as the city was patting itself on the back for IDNYC as well as legislative changes that promised to keep Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) out of Rikers, there was a small group of dissenting voices. As City Limits reported yesterday, the New York Civil Liberties Union opposed the municipal identification program, noting that both local and federal law enforcement agencies could request cardholder’s personal information without probable cause and without the city even needing to notify the person that their info was being obtained. “In this bill, the city has not done enough to protect those documents from being used by law enforcement”, one of their spokespeople testified at the time.
Villavicencio’s family has set up a GoFundMe account as they fight the deportation order:
Please support the family of Pablo Villavicencio as he sits in @ICEGov detention, The American dream was shattered when he went from delivery to detention. We want Pablo back with his family. https://t.co/velEjMy5aw
— Eric Adams (@BPEricAdams) June 6, 2018