A federal judge has ordered the release of an Ecuadorean immigrant who was held for deportation after he delivered pizza to Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn.
Judge Paul Crotty issued an order late Tuesday saying Pablo Villavicencio must be immediately released. He 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. During the arguments, Crotty asked if the government has “any concept of justice” in mind for Villavicencio, and questioned the government’s handling of the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Cordaro argued for the case to be transferred to New Jersey.