The story of an illegal immigrant getting arrested by ICE after failing to provide proper identification while delivering pizza to Fort Hamilton Army base inspired Papa John's-themed street art throughout Los Angeles County on Tuesday.
"The Faction," a self-described "rogue right-wing street art outfit" that is "100% pro-individualism and meritocracy, and 100% anti-identity politics," riffed on Papa John's pizza as satirical commentary on the need to properly enforce immigration law. The outrage against the military and ICE over the arrest of Pablo Villavicencio after an active ICE warrant for his detainment was discovered, says The Faction, is misplaced.
"We find it laughable that the same Americans who enjoy the protection of our brave Armed Forces, are the same people calling to boycott them for merely enforcing the law; the law that is the will of the People," the group said in an email.
Below are more images of the street art provided by the group:
In a piece for The Daily Wire, Ashe Schow provides some more details on the Villavicencio case:
Pablo Villavicencio had delivered pizzas to the Fort Hamilton army base before, but on Friday he did not have "valid Department of Defense identification," a spokesman told Buzzfeed. Villavicencio was in the country illegally from Ecuador, but was married to a U.S. citizen and had started the process to gain legal residency status in February.
When Villavicencio failed to provide the identification necessary to enter the base (he previously had been allowed to enter with just his New York City I.D., allegedly), he was directed to get a daily pass. He signed a waiver agreeing to a background check. That background check found an active ICE warrant for the deliveryman. Villavicencio had apparently agreed to leave the U.S. in 2010 but stayed, becoming an "ICE fugitive," according to agency spokeswoman Rachael Yong Yow.
The arrest of Villavicencio has set off a wave of support for him, activists and supporters citing his five-year marriage to a U.S. citizen and daughters as reason for leniency from the feds. Dozens of protesters showed up at Fort Hamilton to demonstrate on his behalf and a GoFundMe account was started to help assist his family.
Politicians from both parties have weighed in on the case. "Is our city, state and nation any safer today because they took a pizza delivery guy off the streets?" Democratic Brooklyn City Councilman Justin Brannan asked. But some Republicans have a different view.
"This is just more insanity," said Republican U.S. Congressman Dan Donavan. "Liberal activists are attacking ICE agents and military personnel for following the law in detaining an immigrant reportedly here illegally. If Democrats would actually come to the table and support border security funding, then these types of incidents wouldn't happen in the future."