Reality Check: There are thousands of Latinos that are deported everyday and all the SF bloggers don't lose their collective shit about it

Screen shot 2009-10-30 at 3.34.05 PM

Look, our immigration laws are complete bullshit, but the reality of Murat’s (the The Amuse-Bouche Guy) situation is just absurd.  This guy is married to a U.S. citizen, could have easily stayed here legally, but instead just let his visa expire while he chilled out selling muffins.  His plight is a fucking insult to everyone that has to fight to be here illegally, who have to endure watching their loved ones get deported back countries with oppressive regimes in power while they work for slave wages because of their government-mandated undocumented status, all the while having absolutely no chance to be here legally.

Murat had the golden ticket and opted to not cash it in.  Let’s have a conversation about the people with real problems.

Get sick:

(photo from Mission Loc@l)

56 Responses to “Reality Check: There are thousands of Latinos that are deported everyday and all the SF bloggers don't lose their collective shit about it”

  1. jimbeam says:

    This is spot on. As someone who works to get asylum for undocumented immigrants (mostly from Central America), I know that, for someone of his status, it is extremely easy to continue to be legal.

    I have a client who can barely find work, takes time every week to meet with me, talk about the horrible things he’s gone through and ultimately will have to testify in front of an asylum officer so he can get legal status here. Where are the protests helping people who have a legitimate fear of returning to their native countries instead of some fucking European dude who was too lazy to renew his Visa.

  2. Bodah says:

    Amuse-Bouche and his wife were lazy and is being deported as a result of said laziness. Simple as that. He’s not being deported to Afghanistan but France, substantial difference. Finally, we have rules, people should follow them instead of ignoring them and then bitching about the consequences. Hyperbole aside, see a more accurate narrative below: http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2009/10/wife_of_detained_amuse_bouche.php

  3. mumbles says:

    Bouche fucking hoo…

  4. Toodledoo says:

    EXACTLY. Thank you.

  5. Truff says:

    Break the law, pay the price, quit the bitching…

  6. arjuna says:

    seriously? are you guys all so callous to suffering? sure, laziness may play a part. obviously, this guy’s getting sent to france, not afghanistan. of course, he’s not working a sweat-shop job for sweat-shop wages. but what the fuck? he’s getting taken away from his wife, his community, his home. have some fucking compassion. and then go and do something for the community you lament so self-righteously (except for you, jimbeam; you probably need a vacation and a raise).

  7. 94110 resident says:

    So true. Lame Mission hipsters with no real political ideology. This BS is as bad as the whining about American Apparel

  8. Ian says:

    While you make some valid points about what Murat could have done differently, having looked through the links you provide I don’t see anyone “losing their shit” over anything. You’ve offered editorial that one guy’s concerns aren’t worth your time and seem upset at people for offering compassion to someone they know and have appreciated, essentially calling this guy being separated from his wife “not a real problem.” Meanwhile, a brief scan of your posting history shows no content for the thousands of deported latinos you’ve suddenly taken up arms for. How about I Get Sick with that?

  9. Erik M says:

    thank you so much for speaking up!!

  10. Legal for Now says:

    The only people supporting this guy are other food cart vendors looking for free publicity (maybe his wife too..)
    The food cart trend has jumped the shark and these “foodies” have just maintained their forward momentum just enough to land on a rickety bandwagon.

    As you say, this guy had the perfect opportunity to change his status but didn’t. Them’s the breaks Murat

  11. matt says:

    Yes, let’s have a conversation about people with real problems. I’m trying to remember any recent Mission Mission posts about immigration but I’m not coming up with anything. So, who’d like to start?

  12. meave says:

    Yes, exactly. As far as immigration problems go, this is rien de rien.

  13. brooke says:

    How many people who actually COOK your dinners at the hipster restaurants you eat at get deported every day? I guarantee, someone who made you a memorable meal has been. GREAT post. It isn’t that it’s not stupid that Murat was deported – it’s just that perhaps we have some Ed Hardy or Prada frickin’ blinders on in this neighborhood sometimes.

    • Matt says:

      OMG Prada sells blinders!?!?!? If they’re less than $500, I’m buying. Oh, who am I kidding– I’ll get them anyway.

    • arjuna says:

      brooke: some people took notice of this because murat has actually had the opportunity to connect directly with his customers. when was the last time you went into the kitchen at st francis or dosa or anywhere else and spoke with the people cooking your food. it’s because he has a public face that people are taking the time to say something. as legal-for-now rightly stated above, this is a very small group of people, and totally unimportant (though i disagree with everything else said). but the point is, they’re doing it because they’ve met murat. did you happen to follow up the guy who cooked your great meal at osha thai a month later to see if he was still here?

      no. i thought not.

      kevin’s fauxtrage about this is pure contrarianism. that anyone actually feels that there is some injustice being done when murat’s wife and friends speak up on his behalf is what i’d call “someone losing their shit.” these are people that care about each other and they’re using the tools they have to bring attention to the fundamental stupidity of the system and the specific moral crime that they themselves are experiencing. how about a little more humanity and a little less judgment?

  14. baranskaya says:

    Thanks Kevin for saying what I thought myself but couldn’t put in words. As you said it this guy had the “golden ticket” and didn’t cash it in.

    What about the people who cook our food, harvest our food, clean our homes and workspaces, look after our kids, landscape our lawns, dump our trash? How come no one gives a shit when they get deported, but everyone rallies behind some guy that sells muffins?

  15. Concerned Guajolote says:

    Reality check II: Nobody cares about Murat either, that is why he is being deported. By “nobody” I mean, the small circle of people who follow him and his peers and blogs like this. Street vendors, volunteer hyperlocal reporters, blog commenters, twitterers — that’s as nobody as you can get. If your sister is ever kidnapped, don’t bring up starving African children to your parents during the ransom negotiation. This is not balloon boy, reality fans, this is an unlucky and mistreated guy whose friends were trying to help him get a break.

    Also, as for that real conversation, how many latinos are really deported from San Francisco every day? I can’t find it online, I am guessing it is in the ones or tens, not thousands. On the rare occasions they result from work raids, they get plenty of attention, especially on SF blogs. Also, how much better are street vendor wages than the “slave” wages illegal immigrants risk their lives to earn?

    Also Brooke — when those guys get deported (very rare), or when they go home on vacation (rarer now but still happens), they are usually back in a few months. Most of my restaurant coworkers over the years were mojados — going to Mexico every few years, and paying a coyote to take them across the border in Arizona.

    • mcas says:

      http://www.beyondchron.org/articles/Supes_Vote_to_Protect_Immigrant_Youth_7468.html

      10-14 YOUTH who for been *accused* of petty crime are referred to ICE a day, thanks to Gavin’s policy change.

    • angelina says:

      just as an fyi, folks who come from central america have a very different experience than those coming from mexico. and more and more of our latino immigrants are central americans; we’re not all mexicans. it’s easier for mexicans to cross back and forth; it’s closer, it’s cheaper, and they’re savvier about living here without papers.
      it is actually not all that rare to get a deportation order. they might not come looking for you, but deportation orders are issued everyday. many folks get caught at the border and then go to court for years, paying lawyers, etc., and then lose their case. political asylum is the one of the few arguments to stay here and that’s impossible to prove/win.
      also, if you’re deported and come back you face some serious jail time. “paying a coyote” also runs you the risk of extortion, kidnapping, rape, etc. i’m just saying this because while it might be “easy” to cross the horizontal border at texas, there’s the vertical frontera that’s more complicated.
      i’m not passing any judgment on comments, i just wanted to reality check your reality check. :)

    • Silly says:

      How much better are street vendor wages than ‘slave wages?’ You’re fucking joking, right? I don’t make $100/day above board at my fucking office job on Montgomery. Where’s the internet fit for the fucking moron preparing your coffee at Starbucks? There isn’t one. Feel free to say hi to him as you drive past the food stamp line at 5th and Mission…

  16. Jeff D. says:

    hilarious. KM suggests having a conversation about the non-privileged folk in this town who face deportation, and there is a spectrum of responses, none of which actually involve said conversation, even from those who want to have it!

    well, here’s a story from April 2nd to get it started:

    http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/peninsula&id=6742854

    it’s about a lesbian couple. one of the women fled the Phillipines in 1989, allegedly to get away from a homicidal cousin “who murdered my mother, my sister, and almost killed me.”

    and, discuss.

    • Concerned Guajolote says:

      Not hilarious, Jeff D. The point is that someone’s injustice and misfortune, someone who you (this site) have written about and who has fed you, who frankly was probably deported because he has a Muslim name, is a terrible jumping-off point for a wider discussion about how much worse off some notional masses have it. A breast cancer fundraiser is probably not the place to bray about how much worse it would be to be poor and have malaria and quit whining you rich white (booo! hisss!) farts. The masectomy operating room is definitely not the place either, the funeral parlor even less so.

      There is a remarkable narcissism in this kind of post — “why are we even talking about this European guy, anyway?!? Can we please bring it back to some of the stuff that’s on my mind?” This guy’s budding family has been devastated and all you can think of is how to change the subject to something that makes you feel a bit more self-righteous.

      I had an immigration interview when my wife was pregnant — this ignorant nonsense about a “golden ticket” would not withstand 15 minutes learning about the actual system that exists. He had an attorney, in all likelihood he was timing the applications, etc., per their advice and got screwed because somebody in Bagram or Guantanamo coughed up something that sounded to someone like Murat or Celibi.

      But I digress — what was it again that is much more important than the unfolding gross abuse of our friends?

      • Matt (the other matt) says:

        “frankly was probably deported because he has a Muslim name”

        Please provide evidence that this has happened in this case.

    • matt says:

      It’s worth pointing out that JUST THIS WEEK, Obama’s Justice Department took steps to ensure that the country can deport foreign-born gays even if they get married. The latest case involves a guy who had fled from Brazil to the US after being attacked and raped; he got married to a guy, but despite pursuing every available legal option, the Justice Department forcibly returned him to Brazil. There are THOUSANDS of cases like this, often involving parents who are separated from their children.

      I know that what Murat and his wife are going through right now is very painful. I hope that when it’s resolved, they are able to dedicate themselves to helping other families who are suffering at the hands of this country’s terrible immigration policies.

      • arjuna says:

        matt:
        this is exactly the response that is deserved. murat’s (and murat’s community’s) suffering is real and deserves the attention it’s getting. and that attention’s momentum can carry into the greater work of fixing the policies in general. my critique of the responses here isn’t to minimize or belittle the greater issue, but to encourage recognition that this is as bad for murat as it is for anyone else facing the same action. ALL of it is fucked, and we can all do something about it. hopefully this attention and momentum will help both murat and everyone else.

      • jimbeam says:

        By why should Murat get a pass to break the rules when you have impoverished immigrants working really hard to play by the rules and stay here legally?

        Fact is, he could have legally extended his visa. Fact is, he didn’t.

        Are you going to protest when I get a parking ticket for overstaying my meter when I could have taken to preclude this? (Putting more money in the meter).

        That’s my point. This guy is getting deported because he did not do something very simple and easy (comparatively): Get his visa renewed. And yet this because the cause celebre.

        No one is saying it doesn’t suck, we’re just sort of baffled by why there’s a huge outcry about a guy who was too lazy/ignorant to stay in the country legally when he has every ability to do so! It’s infuriating.

  17. Mission Mistaken says:

    How do you use words to consolidate something so entangled in actual, 3-D human reality? It’s what turns people to stupid Buddhist mantras, and also to hate. I respect this site too much to go to either *there.* Instead I choose to go here: I have known personally way too many lovely, lovely people whose lives have been upended by our capricious approach to immigration. And I have known way too many lovely people whose lives have been disrupted by the fact that international criminal gangs exploit our kindnesses in order to exploit our bad habits. All in all, all I can say is that when the time comes — and this appears to be such a time — we can all be part of the solution by standing up for someone we know to be solid. Likewise maybe we should stand up when that is so very not the case. Get up from your keyboards and stand up for your values.

  18. Weezy says:

    blogblogblog……so this blog is the person in the mission who needs something to blog about versus the missionites who respond…apparently. I understand the reality side, of course. Yeah, he was slow and dumb, but…… IT HAPPENED TO SOMEONE WE KNOW AND LOVE AND THIS THIS THIS THIS web is being used to express the frustration and love. This is what we use to express our issues and get out what’s going on. You haven’t heard from other deportees because using the web isn’t their style….so let everyone who cares about Murat being deported roll roll roll…

    and let’s keep talking…..

  19. Peter Smith says:

    i still don’t know why people would want to move here.

  20. On the bright side, maybe we’ll finally get some decent fuckin’ street food in France.

  21. Floyd Law says:

    blah blah blah, I just want my fucking morning muffins back. and chai too :)

  22. andrew says:

    the best line: “He’s holding up okay,” she said, “but he’s cold and he can’t really eat the food they’re giving him.”

    human rights crisis indeed.

  23. hep says:

    this post is like a hypocrisy trifecta. deliciously entertaining way to start the evening.

  24. Doug says:

    What is a “government-mandated undocumented status”? I don’t have a Learjet; is this mandated by somebody?

  25. [...] thoughtful controversy and typical bombast can be found at Mission Mission, as well as SF [...]

  26. j says:

    kevmo, i never liked your posts b4, but i never thought you were this big of a pompous arse

    you think your friends (do you have any) would be upset if you were deported for whatever reason (like being vegan, its unamerican)

    you are so lazy you dont even have time to eat meat

  27. Ian says:

    So sad. Don’t care. Goodbye.

  28. Cindy says:

    I really liked Murat and I’m sad he is getting deported. Does that take away from other people’s struggles?
    The whole “Free Murat: Food is not Terrorism”, thing is pretty silly. I thought it was a joke when I RT-ed it. I do think Gobba-Gobba-Hey guy is totally milking this for all it’s worth, but as I think he probably liked Murat too. Everyone who met him liked him, he’s a nice guy.

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