Murat Celebi-Ariner will fly to Paris today on a one-way ticket purchased by his wife. If she had not purchased the ticket, the popular street cart vendor would have had to remain behind bars in Yuba County Jail.
At the time Mrs. Celebi-Ariner purchased the ticket, ICE was still waiting to hear back from Air France regarding when they would accommodate her husband. The ticket insured that he could leave Thursday. By mid-day, he was no longer listed on the roster at the jail.
“I’m not allowed to go to the airport tomorrow,” Mrs. Celebi-Ariner wrote in an email to Mission Loc@l last night. “They might, *might* let me see him, again through the damned glass, at 7 in the morning.”
Celebi-Ariner, 37 and a French citizen, was arrested more than two weeks ago after overstaying the 90-days allowed under the Visa Waiver Program.
France only received 102 deportees from the United States last year.
“ICE is not used to deporting Frenchmen, though they have a streamlined system of deporting Mexicans,” explained Randall Caudle, the Celebi-Ariner’s immigration attorney.
While Celebi-Ariner sat in jail, his wife Pelin, applied for a deferral of deportation, hoping for a day in court – and perhaps a lasting union in San Francisco. The request was denied.
If you enter the United States on the Visa Waiver Program, overstay, and get deported, the airline that brought you here is required to make return travel arrangements and pick up the bill, said ICE spokesperson Virginia Kice.
Rather than wait for ICE to make his travel arrangements, Mrs. Celebi-Ariner decided to avoid a further delay and buy the ticket.
“His family did pay for his ticket but that was their choice. His family wanted his return to France expedited. We agreed to make that accommodation. But this is a case by case basis,” said Kice.