Pizza deliveryman happy to be home after 2-month ICE detainment

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HEMPSTEAD -

A Hempstead father is back home with his wife and daughters after being detained by immigration officials for nearly two months.

Pablo Villavicenzio, 35, originally from Ecuador, was arrested last month while delivering food to Fort Hamilton Army Base in Brooklyn. Guards there ran a background check and discovered he was in the country illegally. Immigration officials say Villavicenzio ignored an agreement to leave the country voluntarily back in 2010.

After a deportation hearing in Manhattan Tuesday, a judge ordered Villavicenzio be released and be allowed to stay in the U.S. while trying to get legal residency.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Crotty wrote in a statement, "Although he stayed in the United States unlawfully, he has otherwise been a model citizen. He now has two children, both of whom are United States citizens. He has no criminal history. He has paid his taxes and he has worked diligently to provide for his family."

Villavicenzio was jubilant outside his home Wednesday morning, thanking those who helped him during his detainment. The family says they have no major plans for this week, other than to enjoy being back together.

Villavicencio was released from a federal detention center in New Jersey and arrived home shortly after midnight. He was jubilant upon returning home and thanked those who helped him during his detainment.

The family says they have no major plans for this week, other than to enjoy being back together.

Villavicencio will now be allowed to stay in the United States while he tries to obtain legal status.

News 12 asked the family why Pablo didn't leave eight years ago when he was supposed to, and why he waited so long to start the paperwork to try and stay here legally.

“He wasn't sure that he was going to decide to stay here. We did plan to have a family. You just never know that in the future something like this is going to happen,” said his wife Sandra.

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