ICE picks up and detains Kingston chef, legal U.S. resident
Diane Pineiro-Zucker is reporting for the Daily Freeman Kingston resident Juan Carlos Alonzo Vasquez, 29, was picked up by officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement sometime early July 18. Vasquez, a native of Mexico, has lived in Kingston for 10 years and has worked at The Anchor restaurant and bar on Broadway in Midtown as head grill chef for two years. He did not make it to work after agreeing to work an early shift. His supervisor, Brandy Walters, said Vasquez was allowed to call her about 11:45 a.m. “to let us know he would not be in to work and he didn’t know when he would be back.” Vasquez, who Walters described as “absolutely the sweetest, nicest guy you’ve ever met,” sounded nervous and scared, she said. Vasquez has permanent residency status and a Social Security card, Walters said. “While he’s worked for me, he’s been paying taxes,” she said. Walters said ICE had him, but he did not know why and he did not know where he was. Pineiro-Zucker writes that he may have been detained as a result of pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving with a blood-alcohol level exceeding the legal limit in 2011. Calls to ICE at the number on its website would not go through July 19, and a reporter’s email to ICE was not returned. According to the ICE locator site for detainees, Vasquez is being held in the Orange County Jail. Walters is organizing a letter-writing campaign and is seeking legal representation for him. She has asked for help from the office of U.S. Rep. John Faso and has “every reason to believe they’re going to expedite it.” “I’m struck speechless by the fact that this happened at all,” Vasquez's co-worker Christopher Livecchi said. “... He doesn’t deserve this. We want to bring him back. He’s one of us. He’s part of our family.” Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.