"He should be immediately released from ICE custody and an investigation should be launched into the circumstances of his arrest."


A federal judge in New York City has halted the deportation of a pizza delivery man at least until a hearing next month. 


Judge Alison Nathan of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Saturday evening ruled in favor of Brooklyn Pizza Delivery man Pablo Villavicencio Calderon. The ruling stated that the government needed to prove why Villavicencio should be denied a temporary preliminary injunction.


A spokeswoman from ICE said Villavicencio was granted voluntary departure in March 2010 by an immigration judge but had failed to leave. His departure order had become a final order of removal. Villavicencio entered the country illegally in 2008 and has no criminal record.


The removal of non-criminal migrants has been part of the Trump administration's hardline stance on immigration policy, which has engendered fear and outrage among many Americans. In response, Democrats have taken up immigration enforcement reform as a key aspect of the "resistance" to Trump. 


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday continued a public campaign he has waged along with other prominent Democrats on behalf of the immigrant from Ecuador, tweeting that Villavicencio should be "immediately released and his arrest should be investigated." 

Cuomo, who is running for reelection in November, even offered to pay for Villavicencio's legal fees through the Legal Defense Project, which announced the judge's decision. 


Villavicencio's case made headlines last week after he was detained by ICE while delivering pizza to the US Army Garrison Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn. He was detained at a facility in New Jersey and while pending deportation. 


Villavicencio had delivered to the base without incident on several prior occasions, according to his wife and Justin Brannan, a member of the New York City Council whose district includes the Army facility.

Some restaurants have responded to the news by boycotting delivery to the base.


“This is unhuman,” said Sandra Chica, Villavicencio's wife, in an interview with The Associated Press Thursday. “He was not committing any crime. He is a father who is working for his daughters. Every day our daughters ask me why their dad is not coming home.”


Chica said she is a US citizen who migrated from Colombia a decade ago. The couple has two daughters who were born in the US.