NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The debate surrounding the separation of illegal immigrants from their children has moved from the U.S. southern border to New York City.
Two families, both who have had fathers detained by immigration officials, rallied with local lawmakers who are demanding the men be reunited with their children until their cases are decided.
"We won't give up until Pablo is again with us at home," Sandra Chica said in front of 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan Monday. Chica is the wife of Pablo Villavicencio, a delivery man who was taken into custody after bringing a pizza to Fort Hamilton army base in Brooklyn.
Villavicencio has an outstanding deportation warrant from 2010. Immigration officials have sought to deport him since then. The father of two does have an open application for a green card and a New York judge has issued an emergency stay preventing the delivery man's deportation until his case is heard in July.
"We are pressuring ICE to let him go back to his family," Sen. Chuck Schumer said. "No one should be allowed to break the law, but while that adjudication is happening, it is cruel and inhumane to take him away from his family."
A large rally in Foley Square also lobbied for the release of Xiu Qing You. The husband and father of two from Flushing was detained by ICE back in May after an interview for a green card. You was issued an order for deportation in 2002 after unsuccessfully applying for political asylum from China.
You lived and worked in the United States for 18 years and didn't have a criminal record.
ICE did not respond to CBS2's request for comment on the possibility of releasing Villavicencio or You until their immigration statuses are determined.
for more features.