The man most of us know as Amuse Bouche guy but whose real name is Murat Celebi-Ariner has reportedly been picked up by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be deported back to France. An e-mail plea from an amusebouchesf address written by someone identified as Murat’s wife Pelin has been circulating, saying ICE officials picked Murat up yesterday morning for staying past his visa and plan to deport him today. So far, nobody from ICE has replied to a message Grub Street left with their press office, so the report is unverified, but if it’s true, Update: ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley confirmed that Murat is in custody and still in the United States pending removal. The full letter follows.
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.