Papers please! Detained delivery man’s lawyers demand to see disputed waiver

Left in limbo: Judge postpones undocumented delivery man’s deportation, but officials keep him from family while awaiting fate
Photo by Paul Martinka

They don’t think he signed on the dotted line.

Fort Hamilton Army Base must release the waiver that officials claim an undocumented pizza delivery man signed to allow a background check before Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials detained him at the base on June 1, the man’s lawyers are demanding.

Pablo Villavicencio-Calderon’s lawyers filed a Freedom of Information Law request for the waiver on June 12, the New York Daily News reported, and if they do not receive the document — or if it turns out not to exist — they plan to argue he was racially profiled at the base while making the delivery.

Calderon told the New York Post on June 7 that he never signed a waiver, but the base insisted in an earlier statement that he signed the document agreeing to a background check because he lacked the proper military identification required for entry, at which point base personnel discovered an active Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrest warrant on file and alerted Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Reps at the base could not be reached for comment by press time. The base’s website states that all visitors must pass a background check.

The incident, first reported by Spanish newspaper El Dario on June 4, immediately attracted national attention after Calderon’s family and local politicians charged that he was unfairly targeted and detained due to his immigration status.

Calderon is currently being held at a correctional facility in New Jersey before his July 20 court date, but his family and local officials have called for his release as he awaits his hearing.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not reply by press time to an inquiry about the status of Calderon’s detention.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.