BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
A Corona man who was detained earlier this month while delivering a catering order has been granted one month’s stay by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Pablo Villavicencio Calderon, 35, a native of Ecuador and the father of two daughters who are U.S. citizens, was delivering a catering order when military police arrested him and turned him over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Although Calderon does not have a criminal record, he had an open order of deportation.
Gregory Copeland and Sarah Gillman, the Legal Aid Society Immigration Law Unit’s supervising attorneys, presented the court with an emergency stay request.
Calderon has been in ICE’s custody at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in New Jersey since being detained, and although he has been granted an emergency stay until July 20, he will remain at the facility.
“Although we are disappointed that Pablo will remain detained, today’s stay is a victory for him and his family, and also for due process and the fair administration of justice,” said Copeland. “The court agreed with our argument that Pablo should be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present his case in federal court. This decision is also a reminder that the judiciary can still serve as a powerful check when other branches of government make hasty, cruel and reckless decisions. The Legal Aid Society will continue to represent Pablo on immigration matters, and will work with him towards securing valid status.”
Councilman Francisco Moya (D-East Elmhurst), the first Ecuadorian-American elected to public office in the United States, is calling on the New York Field Office of ICE to release Calderon from its custody due to the emergency stay.
“I am heartened to see that the Honorable Alison J. Nathan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has halted the deportation of Pablo Villavicencio Calderon—a husband, father of two girls and an Ecuadorian immigrant with no criminal history,” said Moya. “This ruling is a victory for justice, though small, and must immediately be followed up with his release from the New York field office of Immigration Customs and Enforcement custody. As the son of Ecuadorian immigrants myself, Pablo’s story resonates with me personally. My family came here looking for the equality of opportunity for which this nation is renowned. Like Pablo did, my family put down roots here, started a family and worked hard to provide for that family. There’s no question that my American life is the product of their American Dream. Pablo’s fortitude is everything America claims to value. Here is a man who risked his own well-being so that when he clocked out after a long shift he could return to his daughters—his youngest suffering from a congenital heart disease defect—safe in the knowledge that he was doing everything he could to provide for them. This is a man who should be permitted to return to his family and complete his immigration application. I would be honored to call this man my neighbor and I am saddened that I cannot yet call him my fellow American.”