Street-Food Vendor Amuse Bouche Reported Detained by Homeland Security, Faces Deportation
UPDATE 4:35 p.m.: Homeland Security spokeswoman Lori Haley confirmed that Celebi-Ariner is being detained, and will be deported with no appeal. Details here.
UPDATE 4 p.m.: Lori Haley, a Department of Homeland Security public information officer in Orange County, told SFoodie she would comment on Celebi-Ariner's status only if we could present his alien registration number. We've requested the number from Celebi-Ariner's wife.
|Murat Celebi-Ariner (at right, in yellow) at the Amuse Bouche cart.|
Murat Celebi-Ariner -- a San Francisco baker and street-food vendor, proprietor of Amuse Bouche -- is apparently facing deportation to France for overstaying his visa. We don't know any of the details (we're waiting for a return call from Homeland Security to confirm the information), but SFoodie blogger Tamara Palmer received the following e-mail message from Celebi-Ariner's wife, Pelin:
Yesterday morning Murat was picked up from our house and carried off in handcuffs by two officers from Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). His crime? Having overstayed his Visa Waiver Program which allows European citizens 90 days to stay in the U.S. There are millions of visa waiver overstays in the US right now, and it has not so far been a policy of Homeland Security to pursue such cases, especially ones with NO criminal records or offenses, like Murat. This plus he is married to a U.S. citizen and we were about to file for a green card.
Right now Murat is being held at 630 Sansome St and they are getting ready to deport him back to France TODAY. We (myself and our attorney) are filing a Deferral of Action Request to keep him here. What those of you in the MEDIA can do to help us, is call the ICE office, tell them who you are with, and ask about what is going on in his case, making it clear that you are informed and involved. You are likely to get a voicemail box so just leave a message. Non-media friends, please help us out with your thoughts.
Matt Shapiro, chef of Schmidt's, the Mission restaurant Celebi-Ariner provides pastries for, hadn't heard about the alleged detention -- he told SFoodie he was expecting Murat to make a delivery later this afternoon.
We'll let you know as soon as we can confirm any details.