NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Pablo Villavicencio had a heartfelt homecoming filled with happiness and hugs. The Ecuadorian immigrant who has been living in the U.S. illegally was released from ICE detention.
At his home in Hempstead on Wednesday morning, the married father of two spent time catching up with his family. Villavicencio said that he is enjoying his wife and daughters, his sweet home, and the food.
The 35-year-old feared deportation after a background check during a pizza delivery at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn on June 1 revealed he had an outstanding order of removal from 2010, so ICE agents took him into custody.
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered his release and is allowing him to remain in the U.S. while he works on his legal status. His wife and daughters are U.S. citizens.
"It's unbelievable," he said, thanking God for the opportunity to come home. "For now it's complete for my daughter, my wife and me—the four."
"It was like a dream come true," Sandra Chica, his wife, said. "We were waiting for almost a month that he could be home again."
As hard as it was for his wife, she said their daughters, especially the older one, suffered the most. Chica said they are happy that their father is home.
Villavicencio is thankful for everyone's support and intends to return to work but has no plans for the rest of the week.
"Today is stay home, enjoy my daughters and my family," he said. "Tomorrow, I don't know? Stay home!"
Villavicencio said he prays for those families who aren't as lucky. He has an interview on August 21 for his ongoing green card application.
"I love New York. I love this city because it's my city," he said. "I love this country—it's the best country in the world."