Vendor Is Ordered Out

Happier times for the couple.

Pelin Celebi-Ariner had already gotten word, but on Tuesday night she still hoped her husband would be able to return home to their cozy apartment in the Mission District.

By Wednesday morning it became clear that her husband Murat, the popular owner of the Amuse Bouche street cart,  wouldn’t be coming back to cook in their small, well-stocked kitchen. Instead, the newlyweds will remain separated as he is deported back to France.

Murat Celebi-Ariner, 37, was arrested in his home a week ago for breaking the terms of the United States’ Visa Waiver Program. Since then, he has bided his time in the Yuba County Jail, unable to see his wife but for two hours over the weekend.

He is still detained at Yuba, which is one of four Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracted jails in Northern California, the others being Kern, Sacramento, and Santa Clara counties.

Celebi-Ariner will remain in custody until he is deported back to his native country, France.  The wait could be as long as two weeks, said Randall Caudle, the couple’s attorney.

Virginia Kice, an ICE spokesperson said, “the visa waiver program is a privilege.”

The program is intended for visitors from countries deemed low-risk to the United States. Participants in the program are allowed to visit for a maximum of 90 days. In March, Celebi-Ariner entered the country on the program to spend time with his then-girlfriend Pelin.

In such a case, said Caudle, “Typically one would get a visitor’s visa. The trick is customs is not going to let you in if they think you’re going to come in, get married and stay here.”

Under the rules of the waiver program, Celebi-Ariner surrendered his right to court jurisdiction upon entry into the United States. ICE’s decision to deport him was decided without formal deportation proceedings.

“It’s not intended for people who are coming here to settle here permanently to work or to marry,” said Kice. “Its advantageous, but the downside is you don’t have much legal recourse.”

Celebi-Ariner may have to remain outside of the United States for minimum five years, but terms vary from case to case, said Caudle.

Some 40 percent of the 12 million undocumented who live in the United States have overstayed their visas, according to Pew Hispanic.

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  1. Matt

    Get out. Come back when you’re legal.

  2. Matt

    BTW. Strunk and White is the way to go. Best American English Grammar ever written.

  3. Steven

    As far as I can tell, pretty much every country in the world has strict immigration policies. Try to skirt the rules and get caught, they all kick you out (or put you in prison).

    The US isn’t some magical, lonely island where conservatives dislike immigrants as liberals seem to think. Everyone seems to dislike immigrants equally!

  4. mike

    This guy actually does have the right to appeal and in fact will be given a green card regardless of his visa waiver entrance. All he needs to do is get a competent immigration lawyer. The process will cost about $3,000.
    Regardless of peoples emotional positions it does seem odd that this guy is getting deported when the city is full of Hispanic illegal immigrants.

  5. Steven

    And did you notice it took two authors to write this gem?

  6. Daisy

    Perhaps this sad story wouldn’t have happened if they had contacted an immigration lawyer to make sure everything was legal. My husband is French and came here on vacation. I am not sure if he was on the Visa Waiver program, but he was only allowed to stay for 90 days. We met his second week here and fell in love. We got married before his 90 days were up. We contacted a lawyer to make sure he could stay legally before we married and he got his green card through me. We have been married over a year and the marriage is great. Perhaps the only difference in our story is that we did not know each other before he came here and so there was no intent to marry to stay here. We also got a lawyer to make sure everything we did was okay.

  7. Morgane

    10 years ago I found myself in a very similar situation. The visa rules are quite clear and it takes only a minimal effort to understand what your options are as a multinational couple. What surprised me most about this article is that what is in reality an extremely common situation (couples with different nationalities)is made to seem extraordinary. Does the fact that he sold tasty tidbits from his cart made this case more compelling than if he was a dishwasher? At any rate this couple still has plenty of options – sure it is not easy navigating the world of visas and such, but that is their reality, as it is for millions of other couples.

  8. vida

    Silly rabbits. Sfs sanctuary legislation does not protect felons. It only restores due process. Not all immigrants are felons. Silly kids, your hatred and ignorance goes hand in hand

  9. Steve

    dumb story and dumber reactions

  10. Jimbo

    From the wife’s whining on the video you’d think both of them had been in the US for like 10 years when in fact he came over to the country in…. MARCH. Unbelievable.

    Oooh my life is soooo hard… I have to eat couscous every day… I want my foie gras and escargot….. I can’t afford wine from Bordeaux, I have to drink crappy Napa wine with my couscous!

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