New York Will Defend Pablo Villavicencio and Other Immigrants--Governor Cuomo

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Villavicencio and his two daughters.

Earlier today, I spoke with Sandra Chica, the wife of Pablo Villavicencio, and expressed my deep frustration with the federal government's assault on New York's immigrant families.

Sandra spoke to me as a mother of their two daughters - worried for her husband and her children. As a father of three daughters, I can't imagine the fear she and Pablo are feeling right now.

I had one message for her: Anything we can do to help, we will do.

I confirmed with her that New York State, working with our partners, has secured pro-bono legal counsel to represent Mr. Villavicencio, who is currently held at a federal detention facility in New Jersey. The legal counsel, provided through the first-of-its-kind Liberty Defense Project, has already communicated with Mr. Villavicencio. I also assured her that we would provide counsel and support to her and her family during this time of need.

ICE's arrest of Mr. Villavicencio while he was simply doing his job was an outrageous affront to our New York values. Mr. Villavicencio is a father and loving husband, and his detention doesn't make us any safer. In New York, we stand with our immigrant communities and we will never stop fighting to protect the rights of all New Yorkers.

Editor's Note: The Ecuadorean father of two who is 35 was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after making a pizza delivery to an Army base in New York City.

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