"They said he can file for legal permanent residence here, but he'd have to do that through the embassy in France," Caudle said. To do that, he said, Celebi-Ariner would have to get a waiver of his removal order, which Caudle suggested is very difficult to do. Most likely, Celebi-Ariner would have to wait five years before requesting a change in his citizenship status to return to the U.S. Celebi-Ariner, 37, married a U.S. citizen in August, two months after his visa waiver expired.
Celebi-Ariner's wife, Pelin, told SFoodie that, despite the news, the couple still plans to file for a green card tomorrow. "We're hoping it will invite them to reconsider their decision," said Pelin Celebi-Ariner, who indicated she's received conflicting advice from various immigration attorneys (Caudle, her own attorney, thinks the green card filing is unlikely to sway ICE). Still, though it's something of a hail Mary pass, Pelin Celebi-Ariner said it was worth a try. "We have nothing else to lose because they've already decided to deport him," she said.