In this Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, foreign nationals are arrested during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens in Los Angeles. Advocacy groups said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are rounding up people in large numbers around the country, with roundups in Southern California being especially heavy-handed, as part of stepped-up enforcement under President Donald Trump. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)
The New York Times has eschewed the term ‘illegal immigrant’ for the mealy-mouthed ‘undocumented.’ At one point, the article below does mention “immigrants living illegally in the United States,” as in:
The Trump administration made it clear from the outset that all immigrants living illegally in the United States would be subject to deportation; there would no longer be priorities emphasizing the deportation of dangerous criminals.
In other words, if we catch ’em, we send ’em home. Illegal immigrant Pablo Villavicencio Calderon was making a pizza delivery to the Fort Hamilton Army Garrison. He did not have a driver’s license, but an “IDNYC,”¹ identification card. The Army stated that only a Department of Defense or military identification is acceptable for entry onto the base, and all others must obtain a day pass, which includes an an on-site background check. Mr Villavicencio agreed to the check, apparently having made deliveries there before.
By Liz Robbins | June 6, 2018
Food delivery. Sanctuary. Those are often the anchors for the more than half a million undocumented immigrants who live and work in New York City.
But an incident at the United States Army base in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, last week has called those foundations into question, and provoked new tension in the city’s battle with federal immigration authorities over protections for immigrants without legal status.
Pablo Villavicencio Calderon, 35, an undocumented immigrant, was making a delivery from a brick-oven pizza restaurant in Queens to the Army base next to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on Friday before lunchtime.
According to his wife, Sandra Chica, he presented a New York City identification card, as he had done in the past. The card, provided through a program called IDNYC, was supposed to give undocumented immigrants a method of proving their identification when dealing with city agencies, including the schools system and the Police Department, neither of which is allowed to ask about immigration status.
Of course, having only the IDNYC card, and no driver’s license, is pretty much a signal that, hey, this guy is an illegal immigrant undocumented immigrant. The military policeman at the gate said that he needed a driver’s license, and a background check revealed that Mr Villavicencio had an open deportation order from eight years ago. He was detained, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement was called. ICE officers took him into custody, and he is now scheduled for deportation to his native Ecuador next week.
Mr. Villavicencio knew that he was constantly at risk of deportation, his wife said. He had no criminal record, according to a spokeswoman for ICE, as the immigration agency is known. He was granted a voluntary departure order from an immigration judge in 2010, but did not leave. That made him a fugitive.
The courts had allowed him to leave voluntarily, rather than bundling him on a plane and doing the job themselves. He agreed to do so, but he didn’t keep his word. Now he’s been caught, and it’s goodbye to Mr Villavicencio!
The media are full of sob stories about this case, but you won’t find any sympathy for Mr Villavicencio from me. He overstayed his original visa, was apprehended, and given a chance to leave on his own. When he failed to keep his word, an immigration judge issued a final order of removal, which means that a person can be deported and has no more appeals left. He has been a fugitive from justice for eight years.
In February, Mr Villavicencio applied for a green card, as the husband of an American citizen, but his petition has not yet been completed. The Times did not tell us why he waited so long, given that he married Miss Chica five years ago;² perhaps if he had, it would have been granted under the Obama Administration years ago. Now, they have two children together.
I very much support Mr Villavicencio’s deportation, and believe that his green card application should not be granted. Yes, he is the legal husband of an American citizen, but he knowingly broke the law by staying here, and we do not need more lawbreakers here. At the very least, his green card application should not be granted unless he stays out of the United States until it is finalized, and he should never be allowed to become a citizen.
Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.
¹ – Description from their website: “IDNYC is the new, free identification card for all New York City residents, which gives all of us the opportunity to show who we are—New Yorkers. As a government-issued photo identification card, IDNYC secures the peace of mind and access to City services that come from having recognized identification. IDNYC benefits every city resident, including the most vulnerable communities—the homeless, youth, the elderly, undocumented immigrants, the formerly incarcerated and others who may have difficulty obtaining other government-issued ID. IDNYC cardholders can access services and programs offered by the City as well as by businesses. IDNYC helps enhance public safety, by serving as a recognized ID for interacting with NYPD. It also helps New Yorkers gain access to all City buildings that provide services to the public and is accepted as a form of identification for accessing numerous City programs and services. IDNYC also provides a dynamic series of benefits to cardholders, including a free one-year membership at many of the City’s leading museums, zoos, concert halls, and botanical gardens.”
² – Miss Chica is a naturalized American citizen from Columbia; we have not been given information concerning when she was naturalized.