Owner of 'Greenpoint Bikes' Detained in Immigration Facility, Lacking Toilet Paper, Food, Humanity

Earlier this fall, Pablo Airaldi, a 28-year-old bike messenger, opened a bicycle repair shop on Manhattan Avenue and called it Greenpoint Bikes.

Today, he is sitting in a shitty Hudson County, New Jersey immigration detention facility where he’s struggling to hang on to humanity. His crime? A 10-year-old aggravated felony conviction for stealing auto parts in Indiana when he was 18.

Here’s how the legal permanent resident describes the facility in a letter sent to friends, and obtained by The Brooklyn Paper:

“Try to ask for toilet paper and you are laughed at. We go months without feeling the sun, are forced to hand wash our underwear every night because we are only given one pair, go hungry if no one sends us money because the food is not enough and there is a 13-hour span from dinner to breakfast. Men begin to lose their sanity and then you can actually see them slip away, their light getting dimmer and dimmer with each indignity.”

He’s held while the government conducts its deportation hearings, and if all goes to plan, he’ll be shipped back to South America — a home he left at the tender age of 7.

If you’re curious about life in these terrifying whirlpools of ambiguity, read “Locked Up But Not Forgotten,” a document compiled by NYU’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, the American Friends Service Committee, and New Jersey Advocates for Immigrant Detainees. Also, if you’re friends with Pablo, give these organizations a call.

Below find a video he posted on Vimeo two years ago for a bike messenger racing team. It’s depressing to realize how quickly one can go from biking around the city like a maniac to begging for toilet paper in some shithole in New Jersey, watching your cellmates’ lights drip out of their lonely eyes.

Six Racing Promo — Playing in Traffic production from Pablo Airaldi on Vimeo.

UPDATE 11/30 12:36pm: Supporters can send donations to [email protected] using Paypal.


  1. Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

  2. maybe he shouldn’t have committed and aggravated felony…

  3. AggravatedFelony says:

    “It’s depressing to realize how quickly one can go from biking around the city like a maniac to begging for toilet paper in some shithole in New Jersey…”

    that’s what depresses you? really? hahahaha: that’s depressing.

  4. Seems very inhumane and harsh for the crime. Child molesters/animal abusers etc should get this treatment not this guy. He came to NYC and followed his dream,appreciating the freedoms and made something decent of himself? Provided for himself. I thought that was North Americas motto? NYC was founded by immigrants. Shame on you USA 🙁

  5. christina says:

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” – Oscar Wilde…

    It is grossly unfair for Americans to be allowed to move on after they do their time while others (as in Pablo’s case those that are permanent residents and were raised in this country) don’t have that right. If the point of punishment is to rehabilitate people then how effective can it even attempt to be if the government then continually convicts people for nothing without respect to their own previous judgment? It’s like saying, “oopsie, we made a mistake! You’re screwed again.”

  6. I was locked up in Texas, after the INS declined to tell me that i needed one more paper to get my green card. the situation is the same, except TX water tastes like someone took a dump in it. very unfortunate situation.

  7. why is he calling himself owner of GREENPOINT BIKES if he’s not?.

  8. he was working there as mechanic/menager,he was hired from creg’s list.

  9. AS as for Adan Sosnicki??????

  10. oh sorry, Adam.

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